The Paperwork and Attendant Emotional Aftermath
Can Last for Many Years
I never realized what executing an estate entailed and how many years it takes. Again people don't like to talk about death-related topics so who knew?
Of course every time a tax filing must be made relating to estate assets or whenever a piece of mail arrives bearing my parents' names the memories resurface. This resurfacing becomes shallower and easier to take as the years pass. Time does heal. But the paperwork never seems to go away and the papers - no matter how mundane - evoke some type of emotional response.
Just today I received an envelope overflowing with legal papers relating to my dad's asbestos claims. He died over 8 years ago.
I'm still dealing with the IRS regarding my mom's estate taxes (2 1/2 years after she died). The filings got so complex and arcane that they triggered an audit. At least our IRS auditor Brandi from Florida is pleasant on the phone.
I used to believe that all the legalities would soon come to an end. Now I've accepted the fact that it could be another year or more before matters of estate wind down.
How did I end up as executrix when I have an able-bodied brother and sister? It's what being the oldest daughter who used to practice law (never mind that I practiced criminal law which has zero to do with wills and trusts) gets you in life.
And in all honesty it's been easier having one of us do the job. That way we're not always circulating documents three ways for signatures, etc. Especially good since my sister spends a lot of time in Africa. I'm lucky that my siblings trust me to keep their best interests at heart and not abscond with the money. Having a trusted executor is crucial because a lot of money/personal property may be at stake.
So before you sign-up for the job of executor please know that you could be in it for the very long haul and there's a lot of aggro involved. If you expect the worst, it won't be so bad!