It feels like an honor when asked to be the executor of a will, but it also comes with a lot of responsibility. If you are not ready for the responsibility to handle your loved one’s estate, it can become more daunting than necessary.
According to AARP, preparing to become an executor should begin with a conversation. Talk with the person who wrote the will first to ensure you have all of the details of his or her wishes.
Stay organized as an executor
Before you handle the estate, you need to have a system of organization. You have to settle debts, stop Social Security payments, sell or maintain a family home, and settle financial accounts. Create a meticulous to-do list and ensure you have documents counting for all debts and assets.
Be ready to work with the family
Sometimes, conflicts arise. In most cases, the executor is also part of the family. However, this does not stop other family members from fighting. You may have siblings or other relatives angry or upset with the situation. They may feel hesitant to trust you as the executor. You need to stay transparent and know how to deescalate a situation.
Be careful when distributing assets. You may expect to see arguing over expensive items, but more often than not, arguments occur because of sentimental items. You need to have a fair system in place to avoid arguments.
Make sure the heirs know that it takes time to settle the estate. You have to ensure that you pay all bills and other debts before you can disperse the other assets.