If you have lived a long and successful life as an entrepreneur, you may be looking forward to retirement. However, you may also be looking at the condition of your estate and working out how everything will be distributed when you finally pass away. If you have a particularly complex estate, you will need to give careful consideration to who you appoint as an executor. After all, with such high levels of complexity come additional responsibilities, and you should not underestimate the amount of work involved in sorting everything out. How should you best proceed?
Time to Sort Things Out
By far, the best approach is to "tidy up" your estate as much as possible before that fateful day arrives. Obviously, you don't know when that is likely to be, but as time passes, you should always look at ways to simplify your estate. If you can't, you should make matters as straightforward as possible for those who may follow behind.
Talking Things Through
In other words, it would not be fair to leave a legal mess in your wake as the person who you appoint as executor will then be responsible for sorting it out. Instead, you should leave copious notes and discuss your affairs with the executor, so they are generally aware of what they need to do.
Remember, the executor will be responsible for balancing your accounts, paying any creditors and pulling in all the debts. They will also need to file your final tax return and close your bank accounts, so they will need as much help as possible. Clearly, there's no point in holding anything back on the basis that some of this information is "personal," as they will certainly see everything when you have gone.
Why Simplicity Is Best
If it takes a long time for the executor to unravel your affairs and balance everything out, this will certainly delay the distribution of your estate. This may be hard on those who you leave behind and certainly make it more difficult for them to achieve closure and get on with their lives.
Finally, don't forget to allow enough money from the proceeds of your estate to pay for your executor's time and expenses. You cannot underestimate the number of hours it will take and should make sure that they are always reimbursed from the balance of your estate instead.
If you have any questions about how you should manage your estate in your later years with all of this in mind, talk matters through with a lawyer who deals with deceased estates.Share