What is an estate administrator supposed to do?

| Oct 18, 2017 | Wills & Trusts

If you are an estate beneficiary, you may have some concerns about the roles of the executor. Your deceased family member may have chosen the best person they could think of to serve as his or her estate administrator. But that does not mean you should assume all is well. You should pay attention to how this individual acts. There is a possibility that he or she may not be the right person to settle your loved one’s affairs.

There are some things that an executor must do before they can start distributing assets and inheritances to estate beneficiaries in Las Vegas. Take some time to learn how an estate executor must act to settle your loved one’s final affairs to protect your inheritance and rights.

Carefully and thoroughly evaluate all estate documents

Estate administrators need time to review all estate planning documents. If your deceased relative placed his or her assets in a living trust, the executor must determine if it is necessary to pass it to probate court before distribution can begin. It is not usually necessary for an estate executor to wait for the approval of probate court before giving the beneficiaries their inheritances from a living trust. However, if there is no living will or trust in place, the courts will need to approve the estate plans first before the executor can honor his or her duties to settle the estate.

Settle all estate debts and taxes

Before distributing inheritances, the administrator must settle all your deceased loved one’s debts. To do this, the executor must use funds from the estate to satisfy them. If the value of debts and taxes owed are greater than the estate’s value, then it may be necessary for them to sell off individual items from the estate to satisfy those obligations.

Protect the interests of the estate

During times of death, emotions tend to run high. The executor may or may not be a relative to you or your deceased loved one. Estate administrators have a fiduciary responsibility to act in good faith when dealing with estate matters. They cannot place their own interests above those of the beneficiaries or the estate. They must also act in a manner that protects the value of the estate for the beneficiaries.

Sometimes an estate executor does not perform his or her duties as required. If you believe the administrator is mismanaging your deceased relative’s estate, there are options to improve the situation. They include filing a petition to receive a full accounting of your loved one’s assets. You may even petition the courts to strip that person of those responsibilities so another more competent individual can take over management of the estate.