The executor of an estate must perform many critical responsibilities during probate. When an executor makes mistakes, probate in Missouri could become more complicated. Certain errors may recur more frequently, so estate planners need to select an executor who is less inclined to make such mistakes. Otherwise, probate could drag out and create stress for beneficiaries.
Common executor errors
There are three common errors that an executor of the estate could make. Lack of communication ranks high on the list of things that could upend the probate process. Not communicating with the beneficiaries or the court could cause problems. Executors who do not engage with creditors to settle debts might also cause probate to lag. Lawsuits might result when the estate’s debts are not settled.
A second common mistake centers on paying beneficiaries too soon. An unqualified executor could give in to pressure to distribute an inheritance to the beneficiaries. As noted above, the estate may have debts that require settling. There could be tax bills that require payment. It is crucial for the executor to pay creditors before distributing assets, as failing to do so could result in significant legal trouble. Sometimes, distributing assets may not leave enough funds to pay outstanding debts, creating a problematic situation.
A troubling purposeful mistake
The subsequent legal jeopardies could be enormous if an executor commits fraud or lies to the probate court. Yet, an unethical and dishonest executor may attempt to enrich themselves or others. Cutting corners might also lead to legal woes for the executor.
Estate planners may benefit from choosing an executor wisely. Choosing an incompetent executor could lead to legal challenges or worse. Choosing wisely might allow probate to move forward smoothly and without errors.