While deciding whom to name as your estate executor, you want to know what powers the role comes with. Do you have a clear understanding of an executor’s roles and responsibilities?
Forbes notes the powers executors do and don’t have. Ensure the person you choose for the role understands its limits and restrictions.
Acting in the estate’s worst interests
Your executor may only act in your estate’s most favorable interests. That means the person must set their interests aside and base decisions on your estate’s well-being. Doing right by you and your estate also means distributing your beneficiaries’ assets, paying lawful creditors on time and not overriding your estate planning documents.
Taking money from your estate
Your executor should not pay their inheritance from your estate or otherwise withdraw money from your estate. Executors should not pay themselves for fulfilling the role before taking care of your estate’s outstanding taxes and debts or determining your estate’s worth.
Selling assets for less than the current market value
Before selling your assets, your estate executor should have a professional appraise them. This ensures your belongings sell for their full value. This includes if your executor wishes to buy your assets. In addition, executors cannot mix the estate owner’s assets with their own assets.
Violating fiduciary duty
Your executor should fulfill as many of the role’s duties as possible within a specific timeframe. Failing to uphold this fiduciary responsibility could see the person removed from the role, financially penalized, sued or jailed.
Give yourself peace of mind by knowing the executor’s role inside and out. Better understanding of the role can help you to select the right person for the responsibility.