When the testator of an estate plan dies, as the appointed executor, you will assume your duties. In addition to handling immediate jobs, including registering the death and arranging the funeral, you will take the will to probate to authorize the distribution of the assets to beneficiaries and included charities.
However, when performing your tasks, you should keep the beneficiaries informed. Here are four things to communicate to them.
Notice of probate
When the will goes to probate, you should send a notice of probate to all interested parties. You can mail a copy to each or hand deliver to those nearby. The notice should inform them that the will is in probate, and they can get a copy upon request.
Beneficiaries may want to know when they will receive their inheritances. Thus, after assessing the probate process and the estate’s complexity, you should provide them with expected timelines.
If you encounter any delay or predict a potential one, you should contact the beneficiaries. For example, if you are having delays in court or paying debts, they should know they may need to stretch the expected deadlines a bit.
It’s crucial to inform the beneficiaries about the legal actions you may be working on. For instance, if a property has a legal complication that you are resolving in probate, they should know. Of course, you may not need to tell them about every obstacle you face in your line of duty, but they should be informed about the major ones that can affect them.
As an executor, you should communicate with beneficiaries respectfully and timely about these matters. It will also help to get legal guidance to make your work more manageable.