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You've agreed to be estate executor: Now what?

In regard to an executor's duties concerning the estate of an individual who has just passed away, let's just say that they potentially run a wide gamut.

And that owes to the obvious reason that estates differ materially, both as to the details and scope of what might be involved.

Whatever might be the case in terms of complexity, though, many executors find that even what they thought would be a relatively quick and painless process is, well, not.

Indeed, that much and more is readily implied by a recent overview of the executor role and attendant duties that makes reference to several tips "for getting through" the process.

Because there is a process, and many executors find it to be lengthy, laborious and complex even when not much seemed to be involved initially.

If an estate is going through probate, there are myriad duties that can fall upon an executor, and many representatives are flatly unprepared for them.

We note them on a relevant page of our website at the Andover estate planning Law Offices of Kimberly Butler Rainen. They include "marshaling the property, settling debts of the estate, preparing the estate's tax returns, distributing inheritances to heirs, presenting the accounts to the court and closing the estate."

That breadth of responsibility can easily induce a bit of angst for even a notably calm and methodical person.

The bottom line: There is often a lot to do, and it can indeed be stressful when creditors weigh in, beneficiaries start making demands, heirs begin to engage in family conflict and so forth.

Here's a central recommendation to any executor feeling angst from the above-cited tip-offering online focus on how to optimally deal with estate duties: Reach out for assistance to a proven estate administration attorney, either at the outset or at any point where challenges begin to seem overly daunting.

"Having an attorney can be a big help," states that article.

And even more importantly, having experienced legal counsel on board can go far toward shielding an executor from personal liability that might otherwise arise.

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The Law Offices of Kimberly Butler Rainen
21 Central Street
Andover, MA 01810

Phone: 978-494-6730
Phone: 978-409-1928
Fax: 978-849-8212
Map & Directions

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We are in a 1700s Colonial located on the intersection between Brook Street, Central Street and Essex Street in historic downtown Andover, Massachusetts. The parking lot entrance is located on Brook Street, which is a one-way. From Central, turn down Essex Street. Before reaching the railroad tracks, when you see the St. Augustine Church on your right, take a sharp left turn on to Brook Street, which will turn you back toward Central Street. As you ascend the hill back toward Central Street, you will see large stone pillars on either side of the entrance to our parking lot. We have assigned parking spaces numbered 7 and 10.

From the parking lot, you may take the stairs located on the rear, left-side of the building up to the garden area, where the foyer entrance to our office is located. You can also follow the sidewalk on Brook Street up to Central Street, walk along Central Street past the main house entrance (with a wrought iron gate across the walk way) to an opening in the wrought iron fence, in to the garden area where the foyer entrance to our office is located.