It will usually take an executor 2 years, or up to 200 hours, to settle a simple estate. Double or triple that time to settle an average estate, worse if the estate is disorganized. Does the person(s) you’ve named as executor have this kind of spare time on their hands?
Your estate will pay 10‘s of 1,000’s of dollars more in professional fees if your aﬀairs are disorganized and your executor is not prepared. Experienced estate lawyers now charge $500+ per hour: costs that ramp up exponentially when the estate is disorganized. Litigation is even more expensive. Accountants usually charge $300+ per hour to prepare date of death and estate tax returns, because they’re complicated: another layer of costs that increase when the estate is disorganized. Professional executors often charge 6% of the estate value.
Most people name their children as executors: children who are busy with their own careers and families. While the tasks involved in settling most estates are not diﬃcult, it’s a long task list and one that gets even longer when the estate isn’t clearly organized. A grieving executor, with no idea where to start, quickly becomes overwhelmed. They may procrastinate or make inadvertent errors, for which they can be held personally liable.
After you’ve passed away, family friction is the last thing you want but it’s super common. Conﬂict is almost always rooted in poor estate organization and lack of communication with your executor. When the executor is overwhelmed, with no idea where to start and the work is not getting done in a timely manner, the wheels come oﬀ very quickly.
Wealth transition planning neutralizes every one of these challenges!
Getting organized and staying organized will give you enduring peace of mind and, after you’re gone, is a total game changer for your family. An organized estate gives your executor(s) immediate clarity, conﬁdence and control. It’s faster, easier and cheaper to do the job, giving your beneﬁciaries more money, sooner.