What Kind of Professional Can Help an Executor?

It’s therefore completely understandable for you to want to reach out to professionals to help you navigate the estate settlement process.

Posted on November 6, 2021 by Alex Gauthier
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The loss of a loved one is an extremely difficult thing to go through. If you’ve been named their estate executor, then you’ll have to deal with significant responsibilities alongside dealing with your grief. It’s therefore completely understandable for you to want to reach out to professionals to help you navigate the estate settlement process.

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Here are some of the professionals that are usually enlisted in helping an estate executor fulfill their duties:

Estate Lawyers

If the deceased person has all their affairs in order, then an executor will likely be able to manage the estate by themselves. However, if the affairs are not straightforward, or if the estate is very large, then an executor might contact an estate lawyer for advice. These professionals can help with the following:

  • Probate court: In some cases, a will may need to be authenticated in Arizona’s probate court before you can proceed with your responsibilities as an executor.
  • Debts: If the estate cannot cover all debts, a lawyer should be consulted in order to go through bankruptcy and pay off creditors in the appropriate manner.
  • Complicated assets: Certain assets (such as businesses and various investments) are difficult to appraise and sell without legal advice.
  • Family disputes: If family members contest the will, a lawyer may have to help settle the disagreement.

Ultimately, lawyers have legal expertise that can be extremely helpful for certain estate-related matters.

Estate Accountants

If a will clearly outlines where assets are supposed to go, and if no family members dispute it, then an executor can probably handle all monetary affairs on their own. Of course, things aren't always so simple. When finances get complex, many executors will turn to the help of a professional (such as an estate accountant). These experts can assist with the following:

  • Settling debts
  • Filing tax returns
  • Paying bills
  • Selling goods
  • Handling charitable donations

An accountant can be particularly helpful if an estate continues accruing income while it’s being settled (through ongoing investments, for example) or when the deceased has multiple outstanding tax returns. When it comes to settling estates, it never hurts to have an experienced financial professional on your side.

Funeral Directors

In addition to managing inheritances and funds, executors are often responsible for making funeral arrangements for the deceased. Many times, an executor will work with relatives and loved ones to make funeral arrangements and ensure that the deceased’s wishes are followed. They may also collaborate with a funeral director, a professional responsible for the following duties:

  • Deciding where remains will be placed
  • Handling the transportation of the body
  • Hiring an officiant or clergy member
  • Putting together the funeral service
  • Managing logistics (such as location, time and dates)

Funeral directors are especially helpful when the deceased person does not leave behind clear instructions on funeral arrangements.

Empowering Executors

There's no doubt that settling an estate is a ton of work. It’s totally understandable that an estate executor may want to rely on other professionals to help get the job done. But this doesn’t only take up time, but it also consumes resources (ultimately increasing costs).

At ClearEstate, we serve Arizona-based estate executors and are a one-stop-shop for everything related to estate planning. Our mission is to help people settle estates in a thorough, speedy and affordable manner. Here are just a few of the tasks we help with:

  • Probate filing
  • Tax filing
  • Estate accounting
  • Will reviews
  • Asset transfers

From monetary affairs to legal issues, you can trust us to be there every step of the way. Contact us today to learn more about our services!