Perhaps you find yourself in the role of a personal representative, responsible for settling the estate of a loved one following his death.
The estate is large and there is a lot of work ahead. The prospect is intimidating, but you want to do well. Here are five tips to help you succeed as a personal representative.
1. Follow instructions
There are many rules and regulations regarding the final administration of an estate and legal liability goes along with your appointment as personal representative. Therefore, understand and follow the instructions of the court and carry them out at the proper time in the process.
2. Take your time
Do not try to rush through your responsibilities. if you try to cram nine months of work into three, for example, you risk making mistakes that could cause you trouble down the line.
3. Stay well organized
Your responsibilities will include opening an estate bank account, paying bills, filing taxes, protecting the decedent’s assets and finally distributing those assets to beneficiaries. You may feel overwhelmed at first but remaining organized is important. Make to-do lists and cross off each task as you complete it.
4. Communicate with beneficiaries
Keep beneficiaries in the loop. As you work, communicate with them at every important milestone at the very least. Advising them of your progress will go a long way toward earning their respect and keeping the atmosphere cordial.
5. Ask for professional assistance
Do not hesitate to ask for help from accountants, appraisers or financial experts, as appropriate. Depend on the assistance of an attorney to keep you on the right track and to prevent any legal missteps as you fulfill your duties as a personal representative.