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Reasons an executor should communicate with beneficiaries

When you pick someone to be the executor of your estate, you should feel comfortable that your executor candidate can handle the job. A good quality for an executor to have is an ability to communicate. This may help keep your estate from becoming entangled in probate litigation.

Put yourself in the position of an estate beneficiary. If you do not hear anything from an executor, you may wonder if the executor is mishandling your inheritance. You may think your executor is stonewalling you. The simple act of an executor letting beneficiaries know what is happening with an estate could reassure them that they have no need to worry.

Notifying beneficiaries

Some people may not even know that they are beneficiaries. They may not have learned that a family member has died or that their relative had placed them in a will to begin with. According to Smart Asset, an executor should notify all beneficiaries that they have an inheritance coming, preferably with a written notice. This gives beneficiaries a chance to deal with any issues they may have with the estate and may even avoid court fights.

Keeping beneficiaries informed

An executor’s communication duties do not end with notifying beneficiaries of their status. Executors should keep beneficiaries in the loop about recent developments with the estate. Some beneficiaries might believe that they should receive their inheritance soon after a relative has died. In reality, an executor has to settle other affairs like tax issues or creditor claims before distributing an inheritance.

After losing a family member, surviving relatives may grow emotionally distressed. By letting beneficiaries know what is going on and when they might expect their inheritance, an executor stands a better chance of avoiding disputes with family members of the deceased.