According to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), a personal representative of an estate includes an administrator or executor appointed by a probate court or appointed by will to administer the decedent’s estate and distribute the property and assets within his estate. The personal representative also has specific federal and state tax liabilities and is responsible for paying creditors before distributing most of the estate’s assets. This three-part blog series covers a personal … [Read more...] about Your Federal Income Tax Duties as a Personal Representative: Part 1 of 3
Are you concerned your estate is going to go into litigation following your passing? Estate litigation is the process by which the estate is being contested by one or more parties. If you are worried about this happening with your estate, discuss your concerns with your estate planning lawyer. There are a number of ways to avoid these costly court proceedings. These include the following: Gift your assets: because so many fights occur over sentimental property following someone’s passing, … [Read more...] about Can You Avoid Estate Litigation?
A Texas appeals court recently waded into a sibling rivalry between a brother and sister who were named co-executors of their mother's estate. The brother convinced a trial court to disqualify the sister as "unsuitable" under state probate law. But the court of appeals reversed, noting, "We have found no authority suggesting that family discord alone is enough to determine that a person appointed in a will to serve as executor is unsuitable." Yet family discord is why it was probably … [Read more...] about Co-Executors Can Mean Trouble
Serving as executor of an estate is an honor and a weighty responsibility. This being the case, most executors take the role seriously and do the job to the best of their ability. For some executors, though, the job is just too much. Whether the responsibilities of administering the estate are overwhelming or there are outside duties to attend to, on occasion an executor will simply neglect his or her duties, and allow a decedent’s estate to languish. When this happens, what can family members … [Read more...] about What Happens When an Executor Doesn’t Finish the Job?
When you die leaving behind a will, your executor is the person you choose as the representative of your estate for purposes of probate. Depending on the size and complexity of your estate, your Executor’s job might be relatively simple, or it might get quite complicated. Here’s an overview of the basic duties of an executor: File the appropriate documents with the court to open probate Notify the beneficiaries named in the will (and sometimes heirs not named in the will) that your estate … [Read more...] about What Will My Executor’s Duties Be?
An essential part of establishing your estate plan is nominating certain fiduciaries. These are people who will serve in positions of responsibility, such as Executor and Trustee, and will help ensure that the wishes contained in your estate plan are carried out. Many people simply name a spouse or an adult child to serve in one or more fiduciary roles, but this isn’t always the best option. Sometimes, you know from the start that your close family members will be too emotional to take on … [Read more...] about What is an Institutional Fiduciary?
As you make your estate plan and update it over the years, you’ll need to nominate several fiduciaries. What exactly is a fiduciary? It’s a person or an institution who will have the power to act on your behalf (or on behalf of your beneficiaries) in carrying out different elements of your estate plan. A fiduciary is responsible for acting in the interests of another person – and not necessarily in his or her own interests. Here are a few examples: Executor: An executor is the person … [Read more...] about Estate Planning Glossary: Fiduciary