Do It Yourself Executors Cost Everyone

Life looks like a do it yourself project and to some extent it is. The koan that relates is

“You must do it by yourself, but you don’t have to do it alone”

One situation to consider is the estate.

The estate 

Being an executor in a simple estate would be easy. Right? No fuss, no muss. Anyone could do it.

Before you decide that you would act as someone’s executor or that you would appoint a friend or relative to be yours, consider that estate administration is not an easy do it yourself deal.

Each of the tasks is straightforward. The problem is that there are hundreds of them and you might miss a few.

An example.

“Penny Schneider, TEP is a Trained Professional Organizer who works specifically with executors on estates. On the 1st of each month Penny writes short pieces about things important to executors (what to do when) and on the 15th with things an executor might find (what to do with). Penny assists clients throughout Toronto, York Region and the surrounding area.”  From her blog bio.

On 1 May 2017 she wrote a blog, Estate Administration in 500 words or less, and followed it  on 1 June with Estate Administration in 500 words or more. You see where this is going.

I decided that the revised title for the two might be, “100 steps to administer a simple estate.”

I counted about 50 in the first piece so I think I am not far off. And those are the obvious ones for Penny.  Not all so obvious for we humans.

I expect if we did a survey of estates we would find exceptions and additions that would make it even more complex.

Add in a business or two.  Maybe a holding company and a family trust. Maybe some offshore properties and interests in limited partnership, tax shelters or time shares.

The administration of any but the simplest estate is not work for amateurs

It is ancient wisdom that being penny wise and pound foolish is a losing proposition. It is further known that a little knowledge is a dangerous thing.

Nowhere are these more true than in estate planning and estate administration.

Understand the meaning of what you are doing. Pay less attention to the details. Some steps look complicated and unnecessary. Taken as a whole, they may be necessary. Things like trusts and multiple wills may be important.

You spend a lifetime building an estate worthy of consideration. Why risk it for the relatively small price to have a professional make it flow more quickly, and more efficiently?

Don Shaughnessy arranges life insurance for people who understand the value of a life insured estate. He can be reached at The Protectors Group, a large insurance, employee benefits, and investment agency in Peterborough, Ontario.  In previous careers, he has been a partner in a large international public accounting firm, CEO of a software start-up, a partner in an energy management system importer, and briefly in the restaurant business.

Please be in touch if I can help you.  866-285-7772

One Comment on “Do It Yourself Executors Cost Everyone

  1. Don, I like your post on this matter, but you will agree with me that estate administration and distribution are complex when the simple thing to be done are written in so many words in the will and without proper advice to save money in the process.

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