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What should an executor communicate to beneficiaries?

On Behalf of | Oct 31, 2023 | Probate |

As an executor, you have several responsibilities, and one of them is communicating with the estate’s beneficiaries and interested parties. They primarily depend on you to obtain the needed information. Thus, you should ensure they are reasonably informed promptly.

Here are things you should communicate to them:

Notice of probate

When you admit the will to probate, the law requires you to notify the beneficiaries within two weeks. Your notice will mention that the will is in probate and the party receiving the notice has been named in the will as a beneficiary. 

You should send this notice to every beneficiary unless one waives that right. They should have filed a written waiver of the right to receive notice in the probate court. 

Information about the estate 

Beneficiaries and interested parties have the right to information about the estate. These include the value of assets, debts, expenses and how you plan to pay any final bills. You don’t need to inform them about every move you make, but they should be reasonably informed, especially when one asks a question.

Information about the probate process

You should keep beneficiaries and interested persons up-to-date about the probate process. What stage are you in? Are you handling a legal matter? You don’t want to deal with a legal issue that takes money from the estate without informing beneficiaries. Nor should you keep them in the dark about when to expect their inheritance. They may believe you are mismanaging the estate and, in turn, may file a motion to remove you.

Communicating effectively with beneficiaries and interested parties is key to an executor performing their duties smoothly. Legal guidance can help you know the steps to avoid potential problems.

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