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Managing an estate as executor: a few things to consider

"[L]engthy, laborious and complex."

That is how we termed the duties of many estate executors in a recent blog post focused on that important role.

Indeed, we noted in our October 13 blog entry that "many executors find that what they thought would be a relatively quick and painless process is, well, not."

That reality might reasonably spur many of them to seek a team approach to estate-related duties, says one contributor to a recent Forbes piece. That article spotlights mistakes that commonly occur and can be sidestepped during an estate's final accounting and closing.

Candidly, many executors underestimate the rigors that can attach to an estate's proper management following the passing of a planner who has selected them to steer the estate to a successful closing.

The Forbes commentator points to several specific minefields that can be prominent for a given executor.

Here's one: premature distributions to heirs and other parties.

That is a distinct and sometimes colossal problem for the simple reason that creditors and tax authorities might step forward after estate funds/assets have been fully parceled out. If they do, notes the Forbes article, an executor will personally be on the hook for estate liabilities.

And here's another concern: an executor can run into liability problems in the event he or she fails to appropriately align an estate's securities and other assets with market realities when the estate is going through probate and en route to being closed.

There are of course many additional requirements and concerns that loom large for an executor trying to adequately carry out his or her professional role. Those range widely from properly publicizing the estate (creditors have a legal right of notice) to legally closing out the estate to cut off further claims or potential liability.

An experienced estate planning attorney can provide on-point guidance and advocacy to help an executor fully succeed in his or her important role.

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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.