Have you met with a Kentucky executor duties lawyer before to discuss the prospect of carrying out estate administration? You don’t want to wait until you’re well in over your head and dealing with complaints from beneficiaries who argue that you have mishandled the process of serving as an executor. An executor has both a fiduciary duty and a list of tasks that they must handle and an executor who violates the law or deals in unethical processes could be held personally liable for mistakes they make that reduce the overall value of the estate. The laws related to the duties of an executor in Kentucky and the administration process are found in Ky. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 395.001 et seq.
Understanding Kentucky Executor Duties
Most executors will approach the prospect of estate administration to handle the same set of tasks. This begins by taking possession of all the estate property and putting them in an inventory. Then estate creditors and debtors must be notified of the existence of the estate so that they have time to come forward and lodge a claim against the estate.
During this time the executor also must take account of individual or estate taxes that are associated with the probate estate and will need to keep beneficiaries informed as to the progress of the estate as well. Executor duties also include providing the Kentucky probate court with a final accounting that occurs at the closing of the estate. Some executors might believe they are fully capable of serving in this role and some indeed are but others learn after they are in the midst of a serious legal conflict with beneficiaries that they should have retained the services of a lawyer much earlier on.
This can help to reduce unpleasant conversations or allegations from other parties that you did not take the necessary steps to serve in the role of executor. You want to avoid claims against the estate that could delay the probating of the estate and also reduce the overall assets inside that estate for beneficiaries. You could be held personally liable, for example, if you sold out estate assets that should not have been sold off or if you paid off a creditor who was not a priority order of payment and neglected things, such as taxes or other creditor responsibilities.
As part of your executor duties there are several different documents that must be gathered and submitted to the court and even court imposed deadlines that must be met. One of the most common places for errors has to do with a final accounting, which shows how the executor managed the estate and this can raise many different questions about personal liability from beneficiaries to that estate.
In these circumstances, it’s imperative to empower yourself with information early on. Hiring an executor duties attorney in Kentucky can help you avoid these mistakes and give you a checklist of the tasks that must be handled in the process of probating a loved one’s estate. Many people who appoint an executor do not realize the different steps that are involved in handling this and that can unnecessarily expose a loved one to personal liability issues or even just arguments within the family. If one family member has been appointed as an executor, for example, and other beneficiaries are also family members this can lead to unnecessary family conflict if you have not done your proper estate planning without the support of an experienced executor duties attorney serving Kentucky.