If you live in Arkansas and someone has named you as an executor over his or her estate, you may be new to the process, but trying your best to get everything right. Losing a loved one often proves difficult enough, but if problems arise during estate administration, this can, in some cases, lead to litigation, complicating matters even further. At Gramling Estes Law Firm, we understand that many executors make similar mistakes during the estate administration process, and recognizing where these errors often arise may help you learn to avoid them yourself.
According to Forbes, one common error many executors make is to fail to adequately publicize the estate. There are certain, state-specific guidelines you must follow to make sure creditors, beneficiaries and others with interests in the estate are aware of what is going on, and failing to do so can lead to a wealth of additional problems.
Another common mistake many executors make during estate administration involves failing to properly finalize the distribution of the estate. You may have several options at your disposal in terms of formally closing the estate, one of which involves creating a family settlement agreement confirming all beneficiaries received their distributions. You will also want to make sure that all tax obligations have been taken care of before closing the estate to avoid any additional tax burden falling on you.
On that note, you also, as an executor, want to make sure you do not make estate distributions prematurely. If you make distributions before, say, paying taxes on the estate, it becomes your responsibility to make up the difference. Find more about estate planning and litigation on our web page.