When we write a Will, one of the important columns we need to key in is who shall we appoint as an executor. Executor responsibility is huge and if one fails to appoint the right executor, it may lengthen the process of the estate distribution and make the distribution become difficult. As an executor, you would have to deal with the deceased possession and finances. Besides you need to carry out tons of jobs including cancellation of subscription, credit card and phone bills need to be notified, cancel and suspend. Do you think you can take it ? What are the obstacles ahead ?
Delay in applying court of probate
Applying for probate takes around 3-6 months. Delay can be caused by inability to locate the Will and the time spent to locate and compile all the documents of all the assets owned by the deceased.
Execution of an estate takes up a lot of time and effort. Executors would have to travel to few places such as income tax dept, banks and other places where the assets are located. Further, the executor has to compile all the debts the deceased owe and pay it off by priority before distribution starts. This may take up a lot of time depending on the complexity of the estates and how systematic the deceased compiled it earlier.
Not knowing the location of the important documents
If the deceased didn’t tell you beforehand where he/she kept all the important documents with regards to the assets and also liabilities, it will be hard for the executor to search for it. This is one of the reasons why Malaysia has more than RM60 billion of unclaimed assets. It is because no one knows the existence of the assets anyway. I would suggest that we all have to take our own responsibility to write it down somewhere where it is easily located by the executor to speed up their estate distribution.
Manage the cost
Costs such as probate fees, lawyer fees, accountant and traveling fees which can add up pretty quickly. Most of the time, you need to pay a visit several times to settle one matter. Make sure you have calculated more than enough sum of money for the executor to run the errands without the need to eat up your wealth in the estates.
A lot of frustration ahead
Finding, filling up and submitting documents to the relevant parties or authority can be very challenging. Example you have to fill up the same documents multiple times and submit to multiple places. Sometimes, new documents come out and you need to resubmit it again. You need a lot of patience to deal with all these matters. If you know you do not have the time or you know your appointment executor does not have the time for this, you may want to reject the appointment of the executor or to appoint a Trustee company to act on your behalf.
Beneficiaries whose main concern is on WHEN they will get their inheritance. Process of getting it done is not their concern. Which is why disputes may arise between executor and beneficiaries all the time. If the executor falls on to one of the family members, family ties may fall apart. Do appoint an executor who does not have any interest in your estates or you already foresee disagreement or argument ahead. Preferably is to appoint a Trustee company to act for you rather than a 3rd party individual.
No idea where to start
If you are handling the executor job for the 1st time, you may not know where to start. Should I compile document 1st or contact lawyer 1st or cancel recurring debts 1st, so on and so forth. The procedures of each government body and institutions are different. You at least need to know what kind of documents they require to avoid visiting them a few times.
Looking at all the obstacles that may arise as an executor, those being appointed as the executor may have to seriously take into consideration the above whether I should take up the job. If you are not able to do so, inform the testator to change another executor who can perform better. For those who are drafting the Will and do not know who you want to appoint to act for you, you may want to hire a professional Trustee company to do it for you with a reasonable fee stated. Professional executor is doing the job day in day out, it can escalate the distribution process and all the beneficiaries will be at ease to continue with their day to day life without unnecessary interruptions.
For those who would like to know more on the complete estate planning solutions, please do not hesitate to contact me for a free consultation.