How to Decline Being Executor of a Will

Being named as the executor of a will is both a great honor and a great responsibility. It means that someone trusted you to wrap up their final affairs and distribute their earthly goods according to their last wishes. However, an executor, also referred to as the personal representative of the estate, has a number of duties to carry out between the time the probate estate is opened and the distribution of assets. For various reasons, not everyone feels up to the task. What do you do when you realize, “I don’t want to be an executor of someone’s will?”

Why Would Someone Decline to Be Executor?

There are many reasons you might not want to be the executor of a deceased person’s (decedent’s) estate.

  • You have a demanding job or young family that needs your attention, and simply feel that you don’t have time.
  • You lived near the decedent when the will was made, but have since moved… Read More

Guide to Final Distribution of Estate Assets

One of the responsibilities of the personal representative of an estate is the final distribution of estate assets to the heirs or beneficiaries of the deceased. Before a final distribution of estate assets can happen, however, there are many other steps that must be taken. If you are serving as the personal representative (also known as the executor or administrator) of a decedent’s estate, it is critical to fulfill those other responsibilities before making an estate distribution.

The probate/estate administration process can be a difficult one. Typically, the person appointed as personal representative is grieving the deceased, as are the heirs or beneficiaries. Many personal representatives have never served in that role before, and may be confused and frustrated by probate court requirements. In addition, heirs may not understand why it is taking so long to settle the estate, and in some cases, may unfairly suspect the personal representative of wrongdoing.

For many estates, it is a good idea for the personal representative… Read More

How to Care for Aging Parents

It’s true that for most people, their later years are some of the best of their life, but they also often come with increasing physical and mental challenges. Those challenges affect not only seniors themselves, but also the family members who love and care for them. Caring for aging parents is a rewarding, yet challenging experience. For your entire life, you may have experienced your parents as the strong and wise ones that you turned to for help. Now, they are counting on you.

If you are accustomed to your parents being strong and competent, it’s easy to miss the signs that they may be beginning to struggle, either in terms of their health or managing their daily affairs, including finances. You also may not get a straight answer if you ask if everything is under control. Just as you would prefer to continue to see your parents as you always have, they want to maintain their independence. However, there are signs that they may need some additional support.

How to Determine if an Aging Parent is Unable to Manage Their Affairs

Your parents may not tell you—or sometimes, even realize—that they are struggling. That said, there are some telltale sig… Read More