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How do you handle disputes between beneficiaries as an executor?

On Behalf of | May 29, 2024 | Probate |

As an executor, you want to ensure that the estate’s administration runs smoothly. However, you cannot totally remove the possibility of facing challenges along the process. A common roadblock executors face is beneficiary disputes.

Handling these disputes is overwhelmingly challenging, especially when you are simultaneously juggling your duties to manage and administer the estate. Nonetheless, it is not impossible, and you can control the situation with care and professionalism.

Steps to take

Here are things you should remember when faced with arguments and disagreements between beneficiaries:

  • Understand the estate plan: If you have a clear understanding of the will and other documents included in the estate plan, you can better explain the deceased’s intentions and why you made certain decisions and maintain the beneficiaries’ expectations more effectively.
  • Remain neutral: Taking sides in beneficiary disputes can further aggravate the situation. It is best for you to stay impartial and focus on fulfilling the duties that come with your role as an executor.
  • Encourage mediation: If it seems that the disputes continue to escalate and slow down the estate’s administration, it may be helpful to suggest mediation. This can help the parties find an acceptable resolution with the help of a neutral third-party facilitator.

With these steps, you can handle disputes between beneficiaries more effectively and ensure that you are administering the estate according to the deceased’s wishes.

Understandably, handling disputes between beneficiaries is easier said than done, especially when there are other factors involved. In this case, it is beneficial to work with a knowledgeable probate and estate administration attorney to help you avoid and address complications.

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