Being named an executor (“personal representative” in Colorado) of a will is a big responsibility. You have to be organized and detail-oriented while interacting with grieving family members. While it is a position of a lot of trust, it can be overwhelming. If you have ever felt overwhelmed, the following are some tips to deal with the stress.
Tips for Executors
1. Get professional help from an experienced attorney
One of the most unknown aspects of being an executor is that you are liable if something goes wrong. It is a very good idea then to talk with an attorney to help make sure that you are doing everything legally possible to limit your liability. Of course, having an attorney will not only decrease the possibility of liability, but can help increase your peace of mind during the probate process.
2. Get organized
Administering an estate has a lot of moving parts and details. Those times of a lot of activity can quickly become overwhelming for you as executor. Becoming organized from the very beginning can help you deal with all the details as they arise. An attorney can help you know how to get organized and what to do, but a simple initial step is to create a binder that will allow you to track estate planning documents, death certificates, bills, financial statements, insurance policies, and beneficiaries’ contact information.
3. Establish lines of communication
Because you are the executor, you are the main point of contact for many people: the heirs, court, creditors, and the IRS. You should quickly make sure that you have up-to-date and accurate contact information for all these different parties. You will also want to keep records of all correspondence or notes, so you can always remember what was said.