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Ask Dave

Becoming The Executor

Luke asks what sort of time commitment goes into being the executor of an estate.

QUESTION: Luke in South Carolina has been asked to be the executor of his neighbor’s will and wants to know how much time it will involve. Dave tells him how he can find out.

ANSWER: I would want to know how complicated his estate is. The more details there are to wrap up, the more time it will take you. You might talk to an estate planning attorney who can create a will up and ask how much time it will take. If it’s a fairly clean thing where you just need to notify 4 or 5 creditors and maybe selling his house and distributing the money to his kids, that’s not a big deal.

In this situation, I’d want to be very sure that the will preparation is executed properly. If I took this on, I’d go with him to this attorney and ask about what would happen if the kids challenged the last will and testament, as well as the assets and debts. What he owns will be held against what he owes, and whatever is left over is his estate. Invest some time in finding out about this, so you know what you are getting into, and sit down with the neighbor and his attorney to make sure that his wishes are clearly put down on paper. If that doesn’t happen, you’re going to run into problems with his kids who will show up wanting the money.