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Overwhelmed estate executors, should you decline to serve?

On Behalf of | Feb 26, 2023 | Estate Administration

Say that a parent or other loved one recently passed away, and you found out they named you their estate executor. At first, you felt honored and eager to take on the responsibility. Now, only days later, you feel overwhelmed by the scope of your duties.

It is a common story in estate administration and highlights why people should speak with their estate executor candidates before assigning them the role. Those overwhelmed with their estate administration responsibilities have a few options to consider.

Carry on with guidance

Unfortunately, not enough people realize that help is available for first-time estate executors. With legal guidance, you can fulfill your role without sacrificing the final wishes expressed by the deceased. Some of the benefits of assistance include help managing:

  • Estate investments
  • Overseas and out-of-state properties
  • Complex financial assets
  • Estate taxes

Experienced legal counsel also guides estate executors in settling the deceased’s debts.

Resign the appointment

Under Indiana law, you may resign your position as estate executor. However, it could cause hardships for the surviving family members or perhaps prolong their grief. After all, a court-appointed executor likely has a poor understanding of the decedent’s final wishes. If you want to try out the role a little longer instead of resigning right away, these tips can help.

  • Get organized—find all the estate documents and make a file you can refer to for guidance.
  • Locate assets and debts—a separate file containing records of estate assets and liabilities can also help.
  • Make a checklist—figure out your duties and list them so you can cross them off upon completion.

With knowledge of probate and other estate administration issues, you can honor your loved one by executing their estate according to their wishes.