Why Executors Need Lawyers

Albert was the executor of his uncle’s small estate. He paid the beneficiaries what he roughly calculated they should receive. But he did not hold back enough to pay all the estate debts. Now he was in trouble and looking for legal help. What should you or any executor have done to prevent this pain?

Executors Must Invest in Legal Advice

Albert wanted to avoid spending his uncle’s money. He thought the beneficiaries would thank him as they would each get more money. Instead, they were now steaming because they were asked to give money back. They were worried Albert had made other mistakes.

If you are an executor, don’t forget that your reasonable legal fees are paid by the estate.

Legal advice will help you understand your executor duties including:

– whether you should accept or renounce your role as executor

– confirming a will is legally valid

– setting out your rights and responsibilities as executor

– completing court papers for probate of the will

– helping you sell or transfer estate assets or property

– protecting yourself from creditors and beneficiaries

– avoiding any potential personal liability for income taxes

– showing you the correct way to distribute the estate

– ensuring beneficiaries approve your compensation

Finding the Right Estate Lawyer

Search the internet to get background information about an estate lawyer’s experience and expertise.  Call and interview the firm by phone before you make commitments.

Ask your financial planner, banker or accountant to recommend the name of an estate lawyer in your neighbourhood.

Professional advice will protect you as executor. Consider it an investment to make before it’s too late.

Executor Tip: Getting proper legal advice will keep you out of trouble.