Serving as an estate administrator or trustee can be an honor, especially when you’re doing so to help a lost loved one and your family. But a lot of responsibility comes with the position, and there’s a lot that you need to know to effectively and efficiently carry out your duties. The worst part is that if you stray from your duties in some fashion, you could end up in legal hot water.
Beware the dangers of commingling assets
One mistake that is often made in these matters is the commingling of assets. Here, you mix your own personal assets with those from the estate, which can make it difficult to distinguish between the two. This can lead to litigation, as beneficiaries often feel like the trustee or estate administrator is trying to conceal the estate’s assets out of hopes of keeping them to him or herself. With that in mind, you should do everything you can to avoid commingling assets.
What if assets are already commingled?
If you’ve already commingled assets, then you need to be proactive in trying to remedy the situation. To start, do your best to separate out the assets again. This may mean withdrawing funds from your personal bank account and depositing it back it the trust or estate’s account. It might also mean changing how estate assets are used to avoid any perception of impropriety. Regardless of the specific actions that you take, make sure that you’re documenting your efforts. You may need that documentation in the future if allegations of wrongdoing are levied against you.
Consider seeking help if you need it
Probate and estate administration matters can be more complex than you ever realized. That’s why it might be in your best interests to seek out assistance in dealing with whatever issue you may be facing. To learn more, please consider reading more of our website.