Executors – Watch Out for these 3 Estate Investing Mistakes
The executor of a will may be called upon to manage probate assets that include cash as well as stocks and bonds. It can be easy to make some common mistakes and end up in a legal battle with heirs of the estate. Here are three faux pas to watch out for when managing probate assets.
Mistake 1 – Lack of Communication
Sometimes executors try to distance themselves from beneficiaries or even from the probate court while handling assets. Instead, these are resources you should be drawing on to help ensure that you handle the estate properly. You need to keep heirs and the court in the loop with what you are doing with the funds entrusted to you.
Mistake 2 – Not Hiring a Third-Party
Let’s face it – most executors are not financial gurus. You may just be a close friend of the deceased whom he or she trusted to follow instructions outlined in the will. If you are not equipped with the skill or time to manage the assets properly, there is no shame in hiring someone to take care of it for you. Spending a small amount of estate funds to protect the rest is better than losing much or even all of it.
Mistake 3 – Not Liquidating Assets
Sometimes the smartest move is just to cash out everything that isn’t already cash. That eliminates much of the need for making judgment calls. The estate stops growing, but at least it doesn’t shrink. If the heirs want to reinvest the funds later, they can do so themselves or hire someone to do it.