As a named executor, it is important to know about the complex issues that can occur when documents are not updated properly or heirs are unhappy with contents of the current will. CPAs familiar with estate and trust issues as well as legal counsel can help, but there are certain fiduciary duties that executors must follow, including paying any estate taxes owed within nine months of the decedent’s passing. This may require sale of assets or borrowing against certain assets.
In the following video, Long Island CPA and Partner Robert E. White offers insights for complex estate issues that can arise during executor duties.
Consider these possibilities when planning your estate or acting as executor:
- Beneficiaries named in retirement plans or pensions are considered outside the will; that’s why it’s important for plan owners to update all of these documents if and when preferred beneficiaries change.
- If preferences of the decedent are not spelled out in the will to gift certain assets to specific people or continue to care for loved ones in a certain way, the executor may not have the ability to carry out those wishes.
- Some assets may need to be sold or borrowed against if the estate is illiquid and insufficient to pay estate taxes.
- Contested wills and complex estates can take months or years to settle.
- Plan ahead with your complex estate to avoid placing heirs or the executor heirs in uncomfortable circumstances.