An Arkansas executor duties lawyer can tell you about the many different things you must consider when appointing someone as an executor of your estate. An executor plays a crucial role in closing out the administrative affairs of a person who has passed away. The laws related to the role of the executor are found in AR Code § 28-48-101 et seq. Without the support of experienced representation, you could find yourself in over your head and frustrated with the process.
When Does an Executor Get Appointed in Arkansas?
An executor of an estate needs to be appointed as soon as possible after someone passes away. This is because there are many different steps that must be taken care of to close out the person’s estate before beneficiaries can receive their distributions. This includes gathering all of the estate inventory, filing estate tax returns, handling the management of property until it can be distributed to others and handling any disputes or will challenges. Many executors don’t realize the multiple steps that are required and can easily become frustrated or overwhelmed with this process. This is why it is recommended that you have a sit down conversation with anyone you intend to appoint as an executor of your Arkansas estate. This will give them clarity over the responsibility and the projected timeline.
How Long Does Probate Take in Arkansas?
In Arkansas probate can take anywhere from several months to well over a year depending on the specifics of the individual case. If beneficiaries file a will contest, for example, this can greatly extend the process for handling somebody’s probated estate. In relatively simple estates, such as those that do not include a lot of different types of assets or complex assets, probate can be closed relatively quickly. This is a best case scenario but, in some cases, it can be difficult to find all of somebody’s assets or to gather the necessary materials to move forward with probate. In all of these circumstances, it might become the responsibility of a Arkansas executor duties lawyer to guide a person who has been appointed in this role through the process of what it takes. If you believe that you have questions about the probate process, it’s a good idea to get these answered sooner rather than later.
Can an Executor Be Held Personally Liable?
An executor has what is known as a fiduciary duty to the estate. This means that he or she cannot engage in any self-dealing or take any unethical actions that could compromise the integrity or the value of the assets in the estate. It is a good idea for any executor to document all of the different steps that they take particularly when they have received outside counsel or guidance from somebody else before making a decision, such as how to invest something or what to do with the proceeds. Each state including Arkansas has specific rules around the order in which creditors or debtors must be paid from an estate and it is imperative that an executor pay attention to these to ensure that none of these rules are violated either intentionally or accidentally. An executor who is found to be involved in maleficence or theft could eb held personally liable for the financial damages they have caused the estate. This is why some estate administrators will immediately hire an executor duties attorney in Arkansas to run their decisions by or to ask questions of during the process.
Unfortunately, the passing of a loved one can bring out the worst in family members making things all the more complex and frustrating for an executor who does not have clarity over their role and what they can and can’t do. If you find yourself in this position and need more support in making these decisions, schedule a consultation with an executor duties attorney serving Arkansas who has extensive experience in this field today.