Pennsylvania residents who go through the sometimes difficult task of estate planning deserve the thanks of their spouses and beneficiaries. However, they may not be deserving of such thanks from the executor of their will. This individual often faces many tasks that can sound simple enough when stated but are made difficult through poor planning. The testator who goes to great lengths to keep assets out of probate and limit the burdens faced by heirs can also make the executor’s job easier with a few extra steps.

One of the executor’s first tasks is to alert the relevant financial institutions of the testator’s death. This can include retirement account administrators, banks, mortgage companies and creditors. Providing a list of these institutions with contact numbers and personal information can reduce an otherwise time-wasting burden on the executor and surviving spouse.

The testator can also take steps that support a clear distribution of assets, including personal property, in the will. This protects the selected heirs and the executor from time spent in probate litigation, either fending off creditors or dealing with a will contest.

Providing for the needs of the executor and others involved in estate administration can be just as important as the carefully worded language of a trust. Even with a basic will, it is not difficult for people to overlook critical details during estate planning. This is why having the assistance of an experienced attorney throughout the process, including updating existing documents as necessary to reflect family and financial changes, can be advisable.