3 probate mistakes to avoid

On Behalf of | Sep 19, 2022 | Estate Administration

Dealing with the loss of a loved one comes with many difficulties. If your loved one had no will, it means added challenges.

According to a Caring.com survey, only 33% of American adults have a trust or will. For the people left behind, it means having to go to probate court to transfer and distribute assets. If you fall into the category, avoid the three common mistakes below.

1. Procrastinate

While everyone grieves differently, the probate process should start as soon as possible. Taxes, mortgages and monthly bills still require payment. The sooner you get appointed to represent the estate, the better your chances of avoiding penalties, interest charges and potential foreclosure. After you have qualified, you still face timelines regarding notifying beneficiaries and accounting for all estate assets.

2. Have inaccurate records

As the executor of an estate, diligent accounting should stay the top priority. Record every action you take to ensure you do not have to scramble to find the records required by the court. If you maintain detailed records, you make the bigger process easier on yourself. Accurate records should include detailed receipts, itemized entries and accurate market gains and losses.

3. Not communicate with beneficiaries

Unfortunately, dealing with beneficiaries does not always go smoothly. A loved one’s death may trigger the onset of negative behaviors. If grieving beneficiaries get left in the dark, it may lead to an uncontrollable situation or litigation. As the executor, you should ensure you maintain regular communications. Being informed goes a long way in easing stressful situations.

Probate court has a complex nature that you may find difficult to understand. Seeking guidance and doing research may help ease the burden.