Questions To Ask When You Are Made Executor Of Someone's Estate

When someone in your family is putting his or her affairs together and asks you to play the role of the executor of the estate, it's important to have a series of conversations about the job. While you can read about this role online or hire a local attorney to help you -- the latter is especially advisable -- you need to have a clear picture of the person's estate so that you can perform the task with minimal difficulty. Asking a series of questions to your family member can help you feel confident about your role as executor. Here are some questions to ask.

Can You Give Me A List Of All Your Assets?

One of the biggest challenges that can arise after someone passes away is determining where all of his or her assets are located. You might think you have a list of the person's bank accounts -- and then an account statement comes in from another bank and you have to factor this money in, too. Insist on the person providing you with a comprehensive list of all the assets -- every bank account number, bank branch number and account balance, for example.

Do You Owe Money To Anyone?

The last thing you need after your loved one's death is to find out that he or she owed money. While it might seem uncomfortable to ask this question, it's imperative to know. As with the assets, you need to obtain a list of people or organizations to whom money is owed, how much is currently owed and a statement that shows how much has previously been paid. Having this detailed list will help you avoid panic if someone approaches you after the death and says that your family member owed him or her money.

Do You Have A Power Of Attorney Signed?

In many cases, if you're asked to serve as the executor to someone's estate, you'll also be asked to play the role of power of attorney. If not, you need to make sure that the person has the appropriate documents to name a power of attorney -- you'll often have to work with this person, so it's ideal to have some conversations ahead of time about your respective roles.

Should I Be Aware Of Any Issues With Family?

In some instances, you'll have a grasp on the family dynamic around the person who has asked you to be executor, but it's always a good idea to be prepared. Asking this question can ensure that you're aware of any family members who might be exceedingly difficult -- perhaps someone who has been left out of the will but will attempt to fight the document legally. Knowing these details can help you be prepared in the event familial problems arise. Contact a professional like one from Wright Law Offices, PLLC for more information.