When the time comes to create a legally binding estate plan, you will be required to name a personal representative to oversee your estate. The person named is usually referred to as an executor, and he or she must handle the daunting task of managing your estate while ensuring that your heirs receive their inheritances in a timely manner. Typically, the process of probate in the state of Michigan is straightforward and easy to navigate if you leave your beneficiaries a detailed will. Unfortunately, if your will or executor is challenged, things can quickly become complicated. Knowing these four reasons your executor might be challenged may help you better prepare for the possibility of a fight between your heirs and your personal representative after you are gone.
The role of an executor is time consuming, stressful, and requires impeccable communication skills. Throughout the process of managing the estate, your executor will work with your creditors, deal with the Internal Revenue Service, and work with the probate court. He or she will also need to communicate regularly with your beneficiaries to let them know what is happening with the estate. If your beneficiaries do not feel as if they are receiving updates on a consistent basis, they may grow dissatisfied with your executor and demand that he or she be replaced.
Disputes Over the Will
It is not uncommon for beneficiaries who are not satisfied with the way assets are distributed to challenge an entire will. Depending on the circumstances, the challenge over the will may include asking the probate court to take over administration of the estate or request that another person be appointment in the role. The request may have nothing to do with a problem with the executor themselves, the person disputing the estate plan may believe that the entire legal document is invalid, including the appointment of an executor. This process could extend the probate process by several months or years, potentially costing the estate money in the form of administration fees and other expenses.
Executors often handle large amounts of money along with valuable assets, making trust one of the primary factors involved in deciding who should manage your estate. Though most executors are honest, it is possible that the executor may intentionally steal funds from your estate, leading to a call for his or her removal. In other situations, the beneficiaries of the estate may not agree with the estate management fees your executor is receiving, leading to a disagreement that could end up being resolved in court.
Contact an Experienced Attorney
Deciding who should manage your estate is not easy, and it is a decision that should be made with the assistance of a qualified trust and probate attorney. The legal team at Resnick Law understands how crucial making the right choice is, and we work with you to ensure the person you choose has the legal help necessary when the time comes to manage your estate. Our team guides your chosen executor through the process of probate administration. Contact our office today to schedule an initial consultation so that we can begin providing you the legal representation you require.
(image courtesy of Mikael Kristenson)