Closing an estate takes time and requires patience and attention to detail. Agreeing to oversee this process is not something you should do unless you understand the scope of your responsibilities.
Knowing what to consider about this role can help you make an informed and confident decision.
Your availability to deal with tasks
Being an executor is not for the faint of heart. According to U.S. News, closing an estate could take anywhere from six to 12 months to complete. While you might have periods between tasks that give you some downtime, you will want to make sure your schedule has the flexibility that will allow you to complete your obligations.
Your ability to empathize
Your responsibilities will require you to work closely with the testator’s surviving relatives. Being able to empathize with them and acknowledge their grief in a respectful manner will provide comfort and help build trust. Having patience and the ability to communicate well can also improve your effectiveness.
Your attention to detail
Closing an estate requires attention to detail. You will oversee responsibilities including the following:
- Distributing assets to heirs
- Closing remaining debts
- Paying taxes
- Obtaining a death certificate
- Selling real estate
Carefully observing your duties will make it so you do not miss critical details that could jeopardize the estate’s value. Doing things in the right order can help you avoid missing deadlines and probate which could prolong the process. Your proactive effort to understand your role may help you perform your duties with confidence and ease.