Firm Logo
We’re Here When You Need Us

We Have Your Best
Interest In Mind

Photo of Professionals at Law Office of Rebecca L. Evans
  1. Home
  2.  » 
  3. Probate
  4.  » Three tips to properly manage assets as an executor

Three tips to properly manage assets as an executor

On Behalf of | Mar 19, 2024 | Probate |

If you become an estate executor for a deceased loved one, you will probably find that probate will be an emotional and stressful time for you. As part of your duties, you must oversee the property and assets of your relative.

This may feel like an overwhelming task, but if you know ahead of time how to manage the items in the estate, you might feel better about completing probate without running into unnecessary problems.

Create a comprehensive inventory

The beneficiaries of the estate might voice concerns about your stewardship of the estate if items go missing. Therefore, you should make a good faith effort to locate all property belonging to the estate and create an inventory accounting for it.

A good place to start looking for property is to go through the residence of your loved one, making a detailed list of all belongings, including household items, valuable collections, sentimental possessions and financial documents. From there, look for more secure locations, such as any safe deposit box owned by your family member.

Safeguard and maintain property

Once you have accounted for the estate assets, your next task is to keep them safe from damage, theft or deterioration. This can include a wide range of actions depending on the property.

For real estate, you should ensure the property remains secured. You may need to arrange for regular maintenance, such as lawn care or pest control. For vehicles, keep them stored safely. Valuable items like artwork, antiques or jewelry may require special storage conditions or insurance coverage.

Maximize asset value

If your relative left a will that permits you to sell estate assets, you should seek fair market value when pricing them. Selling them too cheaply could constitute a breach of fiduciary duty to the beneficiaries.

Research comparable sales, obtain professional appraisals if needed, and market the property effectively to attract suitable buyers. Transparency and documentation of the sales process can demonstrate that you are not acting recklessly.

With careful oversight and prudent decisions, you stand a good chance of ensuring the estate will retain its value and bring probate to an end with little drama.

FindLaw Network
Photo of Deborah N Arthur and Rebecca L. Evans