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Determining if you are the right choice for estate administration

To Pennsylvania residents without a lot of knowledge about estate administration, it may seem like a simple task. In reality, just the opposite is true. Serving as an estate administrator is nearly always a complicated undertaking. While you may feel honored that someone has placed such trust in you, it is wise to be honest with yourself about your ability to fulfill the role of estate administrator.

During estate planning, people tend to put their trust into family members or close friends. If they have not developed a good understanding of everything estate administration entails, they might not realize the person they have chosen is inappropriate. Often, it is up to the designated estate administrator to decide if he or she can handle the responsibility. If you are in this kind of situation, ask yourself these questions before you accept the role.

-- Do I have the time to see it through? To help you answer truthfully, you should know that it can take years to fulfill your responsibilities.

-- Am I capable enough to perform my duties? Those who are good with math and have exceptional organization and investigative skills are good candidates. Being patient is also a good trait to possess.

-- Can I understand the laws governing estate administration? There is no shame if your answer is no. These laws are quite complicated and can be difficult to learn.

Accepting the role of estate administrator if you are not able to fulfill your duties properly is not doing the deceased any favors. However, if you are already in the process of administering an estate and find yourself in deep waters, you should know that an estate planning lawyer can help you complete this honorable and important role.

Source: AARP, "What to Know Being an Estate Executor or Administrator," Carole Fleck, accessed Nov. 01, 2016

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