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Avoidable estate administration mistakes

For many Maryland residents, being named as the executor of a loved one's will can be a daunting task. There are many things that the chosen executor is responsible for that he or she may be unaware of or not understand how to complete. As a result, there are many recurring mistakes in estate administration.

Many executors are eager to distribute the assets, but making these distributions too early may cause problems. Executors are responsible for paying any taxes or legal fees with the estate assets, and if those assets are distributed before those fees are paid, then the executor must find a way to see that they are paid. Many may also forget that creditors are to be informed about the estate so that they might file claims to settle any outstanding debts. Some surviving spouses might also qualify for a tax exemption, the paperwork for which the executor needs to ask for.

Inexperienced executors may also neglect to liquidate certain assets. This may include managing a stock portfolio. It is also possible for someone attempting to execute a will to fail to conclude the estate. In order to close the estate, the executor may have to file documents with the court stating that the assets were distributed or have the distributions approved by a judge.

People living in Maryland who wish to discuss their estate administration plan may benefit from speaking with an estate planning attorney. Such attorneys would be able to help clients to clearly outline their wishes in their wills. They would also be able to assist the client's chosen executor to better understand what he or she will be responsible for and how best to proceed.

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