Acting as the executor of an estate for a deceased loved one is a major responsibility. The will written by your relative may name multiple individuals to inherit from the estate. Therefore, you should administer the estate carefully to avoid legal challenges from heirs.
Strong communication with beneficiaries is one way to help make probate proceed smoothly. Smart Asset describes a few matters you should be ready to discuss with heirs to the estate.
Notification of being an heir
Your first communication with beneficiaries will likely inform them that they have a claim in the estate. It is possible for someone to not know that he or she is part of a will. You may have to make sure that everyone named in the will knows that they stand to inherit from the estate.
General information on the estate
Beneficiaries should understand some basic facts about the estate and not just the nature of the assets contained by the estate. You should also let beneficiaries know about any debts owed by the estate, including outstanding taxes. Additionally, the estate heirs will likely want to know how you intend to pay off the debts, as this could affect their inheritance.
News on probate developments
While it is not necessary to maintain constant contact with beneficiaries, they will probably want to know about important developments in the probate process. If you remain silent for too long, they could become suspicious. This may lead to legal action to remove you as executor.
Probate may be emotionally taxing for people who have a stake in an estate, but making sure they understand what to expect could help instill confidence in your abilities to carry out your estate duties.