practice areas

Communicating with beneficiaries is a task many estate executors must handle. Intended beneficiaries to an estate will want to know that the executor is handling their inheritance in a competent and honest fashion. But if a California executor does not properly communicate to beneficiaries, problems may erupt. Here is a look at possible communication pitfalls and why they must be avoided. 

Forbes explains that an executor must never ignore beneficiaries. Heirs to an estate want the process of finalizing the estate to begin. They also want the executor to keep them apprised of the latest developments. Estate heirs are unlikely to tolerate an executor who stonewalls them, and might initiate court action to have an uncommunicative executor removed. 

Secondly, executors should be careful what they say to beneficiaries. Beneficiaries who have lost a loved one are likely to be grief stricken and anxious about the future. According to Think Advisor, some executors overpromise to ease their grief. They might say they can disperse the assets to them soon, but it may actually take a while to process the estate. Some estates have tax issues that need to be settled before beneficiaries can receive anything. 

Executors should also carefully document their activities, particularly if the estate is large and complicated. As part of their duties, some executors must invest estate money. However, a beneficiary might have problems with an investment decision. An executor should have paperwork ready to show the beneficiary why the investing decision was proper and authorized. 

Sometimes an executor needs to ask for help. Handling an estate alone can be a burdensome task, and some people lack the expertise to do so. This is why executors hire professionals like an accountant, a realtor, a financial advisor, or an attorney. An executor can draw on the help of professionals when communicating with beneficiaries to ensure the proper information is conveyed to them.