Top Mistakes Estate Executors Make During A Probate


The estate settlement process is an important part of estate planning. Also, an estate planning process should involve probate. These two processes are used to divide your property into beneficiaries when you are gone. The court uses probate to ensure that the beneficiaries are paid through the process known as estate settlement. Unfortunately, the process can take longer. It can be stressful. Hire an estate lawyer in Melbourne, Fl.  On those lines, here are the top mistakes executors make during the probate court process.

Unclear Goals

Probate law is complex. The process itself can be stressful and overwhelming. And this can particularly get worse if you aren’t considerate of the outcome. Whatever your goal is, you need to state it clearly. Stay committed to the end goal and make confident decisions. Set clear goals. Also, consult before setting the goals.

Not Understanding the Process

Take time to learn the process. Don’t wait for the attorney to do everything for you. Educate yourself about probate law. Being fully dependent on an attorney can be costly. With a proper understanding of probate law, you can even represent an estate by yourself.

If the case is a bit complicated, you may want to hire an experienced estate attorney. Financial planners and local realtors are experts in the legal field and can offer specialized knowledge that pays off.

Not Being Vigilant

Be proactive. Initiate the probate process as soon as possible. The longer you wait, the more taxes add up. Losing a loved one is extremely frustrating and devastating. Nonetheless, waiting too long can lead to greater demands.

Give yourself some time to mourn but make plans to begin the probate process as soon as you can.

Not Controlling The Assets

As an executor, you should act swiftly when it comes to protecting real estate property. Make sure that the property is insured and secured. Taxes and mortgages must be fully settled.

If you find it hard handling all these by yourself, consider hiring a good realtor. These professionals are highly trained to handle your probate needs. They’ll help you protect the property and take full control of the estate’s cash. But this doesn’t mean that you grant them access to bank accounts, debit, and credit cards.  

Inaccurate Asset Inventory

Did the deceased have any debts? Was he or she an owner of real estate property? If so, then you may need access to probate estate administration. Prepare a comprehensive list of assets placed under the control of an executor.

You must account for everything and know exactly how assets will be transferred to the deceased’s heirs. These details can be found in their Will or through intestate succession.

Restricted Mindset

Real estate is an important aspect of estate planning. Depending on your goals you should strive to understand the available options in real estate. The best approach is to list with a reliable realtor.

If you need to fix your real estate swiftly and you don’t have money, then your realtor could get an investor to get the job done. Understanding your options will give you more flexibility in your decision-making.

Not Marketing Property Early Enough

Find a way to sell the property as quickly as you can. Once you’ve been chosen as an estate executor, you can start soliciting offers on the property. Aside from handling all the other matters, you can consult with a realtor to get professional advice. Make sure that the realtor is well-versed with probate law.

Inaccurate Accurate Accounting Records

When preparing an estate plan, you should utilize proper schedules and procedures. Failing to accurately describe receipts and financial disbursements can lead to costly mistakes. If you aren’t well-versed in accounting, it makes sense to hire a professional to handle the task on your behalf.

During settlement, all estate numbers should align and make sense. Otherwise, objections might arise from your beneficiaries or even a judge. If records aren’t kept properly, the succession process can last up to 2 years when it could have only taken between 6 to 12 months.

Not Communicating With Heirs

When drafting an estate plan, be sure to communicate with your heirs. All beneficiaries must be on the same page. Plus, they should all agree that you’re the one in charge of the estate.

Take time to communicate all setbacks and successes. If your loved one counts on their inheritance to make a certain move, then any delays will significantly impact their life.

Failing To Conclude Your Estate

Don’t forget to conclude your estate. Once you have distributed all your assets, be sure to formally close the estate. Before you start distributing the assets, go to the court and request permission from a judge. But if you don’t want to go through that probate process, consider forming a family settlement.

When all beneficiaries participate in estate administration, they’ll know exactly where assets went. And this will prevent holding the executor or administrator liable for any mistakes. In case debt pops up later, the family members will be ready to give back some of the money and settle the debt. Your estate attorney can help in preparing this powerful document to safeguard the executor’s liability.

Key Takeaway

Your estate planning attorney will assist you to establish a healthcare proxy, a living will or trust, as well as, a power of attorney. They’ll work closely with you to create a valid will to protect the family members you leave behind.

All these measures are designed to prevent your assets from being distributed under the intestacy laws. If these statutes take control of your situation, then you might not have control over who receives your assets and who takes care of your children.

The Bottom-Line

An executor should be vigilant throughout the probate process. He/she should understand the process. Plus, accurate record keeping is very important. A good executor should accurately conclude your estate. He/she should regularly communicate with the heirs. The above are common mistakes made by executors during the probate court process.