Here in Chapel Hill, NC the Law Office of Matthew Charles Suczynski helps many families protect their future by creating detailed estate plans. Unfortunately, many times during this process we see people not understand the responsibility that comes with being the executor of an estate here in NC. While the role of an executor can be seen as straight forward, it’s important to plan ahead and know what you will be required to do when the needs arises. Previously we wrote about the Top 3 Reasons Estate Planning Matters, but let’s dive in and learn more about what the role of an executor entails!
Liability For An Estate?
If there are errors recorded for an estates taxes or paperwork, an executor may be held personally liable. One of the most common mistakes made is failure of an executor to pay a decedent’s (the person who has died) back or unpaid taxes. This can incur additional fines and penalties levied against an estate and some extreme cases, the executor themselves, if they demonstrate negligence in handling of the estate. Other areas that can cause liability problems for an executor also lie in insurance payments. Some insurance payments are critical and should not be allowed to lapse, if they do issues may arise in the estate which can trigger problems for the executor. While all of this may sound daunting, if you are acting as an executor and file your paperwork on time, pay outstanding debts/taxes and follow the general guidelines for the estate, odds are you shouldn’t have any liability issues. Partnering with an attorney who understands estate planning can also be invaluable to mitigating any risk involved. Be sure to do your research before agreeing to become an executor!
Paperwork & Bank Accounts
One of the most time consuming responsibilities of an executor is the amount of required paperwork to be filed for many types of estates. These documents can include:
- Accounting records
- Disposition documents
- Asset distribution forms
- File a copy of the will to the local record
- Creating an inventory of the estates assets
If the decedent is owed money from paychecks, this account needs to be created to retain them. It is the responsibility of the executor to pay outstanding debts like mortgages, utilities and other expenses that still need to be paid during the entire the probate process. An executor should also notify the decedent’s credit card provider, personal bank account holder and other government agencies (Social Security) of the death. If left unnotified social security checks can still be mailed or missed payments for credit cards can incur.
Time & Deadlines
All estates have strict deadlines that need to be met, not only are there deadlines for the filing of the probate documents there are also hard deadlines for notifying creditors of death, filing income tax returns for both federal and state, the executor must also make sure to comply with tax laws and accurately complete documents in the given time frame. This may require a large amount of time invested by the executor. If you are an executor that is required to meet all these deadlines while also grieving it can be hard to stay on top of the responsibilities of an estate. Ensuring that you have documents in place pre-death created by an attorney who understand the situation can make the difference in dealing with a stressful estate. Here at the Law Office of Matthew Charles Suczynski we have helped hundreds of local families ease their mind when it comes to estate planning, let us help protect you and your family.
Represent The Estate In Local Court
In some cases, an executor may be required to appear in court on behalf of the estate. Unfortunately, estates are not one size fits all and come in many different shapes, complexities and sizes. Depending on what type or size estate you are the executor for, will determine how difficult your job as an executor may be. While these cases are not uncommon, most of the time when an executor is called before a court it is generally a good idea to consult an experienced attorney about your specific situation. No matter what stage of the probate process you are in, the Law Office of Matthew Charles Suczynski can help.
Why Should I Choose the Law Office of Matthew Charles Suczynski
Over the years the Law Office of Matthew Charles Suczynski has helped hundreds of families prepare for the future with Estate Planning throughout the state. As such, Matthew has the skill set and experience necessary to handle your Estate Planning needs. Give the Law Office of Matthew Charles Suczynski, PLLC a call today to discuss your case at (919) 619-3242 or link textvisit our Estate Planning page for more information
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