Being an Executor is not an easy task. You are acting as a fiduciary for the Estate which means you act and make decisions according to a certain standard. Let’s start with five mistakes to avoid.

  • Mistake number 1: Failure to prepay inheritance tax in Pennsylvania within the first three months (3).  In Pennsylvania, a 5% discount on the net tax can be taken. Many Executors are unaware of this and can inadvertently disadvantage the Estate. Talk to your advisor about liquidation options to take advantage of paying the tax.
  • Mistake number 2: Failure to safeguard decedent’s property.
  • There many safeguards regarding the decedent’s property that need to be taken. Failure to change the locks of the decedent’s home in a timely manner can cause vadnalism, squatters and other potential serious problems.
  • Mistake number 3: Failure to remove a relative or other squatter from the property. Failure to sell the property in a timely manner.
  • Mistake number 4: Failure to maintain decedent’s home: Repairs, maintenance and utility bills must be paid.
  • Mistake number 5: Failure to change the homeowner’s insurance policy. Once the homeowner dies, the homeowner’s policy must be changed.

Some mistakes are simple and can be fixed, others are more costly. Be sure to get advice if you are ever unsure about an issue.