E184 Why is Being an Executor Difficult_ The Statistics

E184 Why is Being an Executor Difficult? The Statistics


Here are the results of a survey and statistics to illustrate why folks think being an executor is so difficult.

Is being an executor difficult?

The average executor doesn’t think the job is particularly difficult to understand. But, they do think carrying out the role can be difficult.

statista

Source: https://www.statista.com/statistics/281604/difficulty-in-being-an-executor-of-an-estate-among-wealthy-americans/

Based on a survey by Statista, non-professional executors feel the most difficult parts of serving as an executor or trustee of an estate are:

Commitment of time required

Many tasks seem simple, and would be if you were doing them for yourself (closing a bank account, getting financial records, etc.). But many executors realize how difficult those tasks are with an estate.

Insufficient legal or financial knowledge

Yes, you can hire an attorney or CPA to advise on most matters. But what executors really want to know is: what are my chances of getting sued if I make the wrong decision?

Filing tax returns

Executors must get tax clearance, to avoid being haunted by the IRS later. This can frustratingly take months.

Managing disagreement among heirs

This is particularly awkward and stressful if it’s your own family. Thanksgiving gets even more awkward!

How much time does it take to be an executor?

According to a survey by EstateExec.com, the average non-professional executor spends 570 hours to settle an estate.

executor_effort_chart

Source: https://www.estateexec.com/Docs/General_Statistics

How long is 570 hours?

  • 71 full workdays
  • 14 full work weeks
  • 3 1/2 months of work

Make sure you’re ok with this level of disruption to your job or leisure time, before accepting executorship.

How long do estates take to settle?

On average, 16 months. In our experience, 16 months sounds low.

settlement_duration_chart

Source: https://www.estateexec.com/Docs/General_Statistics

Also be aware that it’s not a steady stream of work. Rather, there will be bursts of hectic activity, with long gaps of waiting in between.

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