You are the executor of an estate. This job is grueling. I understand it has been made harder by his complete lack of planning, organization, and (as you have come to learn) insufficient funds.
But as the executor the job you do is critical to ensuring that that those of us who are left stuck paying bills and taking over accounts can do so. We have no authority until the account is properly turned over to us by you.
Other people, your own nieces and myself, are relying on you to get this done. Not only do you have to send proper documentation to many places so the death can be properly noted, but you also have to follow-up to ensure that the person who is going to be responsible can take over.
Sending a death certificate and then telling me to call and start to make payments does not work. You need to do this the right way. If an account was financial in any way – if it involved payment of any kind, then it needs to be properly closed due to death and completely turned over in someone’s name.
While his secrets that you are uncovering are horrific to learn, I am sorry to say “welcome to the party.” Had you involved me from the beginning this would have been much easier. We could have worked together.
All executors need to understand that their job, while horrific, has significant legal and financial impact on the lives of other people. It isn’t enough to say you have faxed and talked – you need to make sure, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that the individuals left to take care of affairs have the full power to do so.
For elaborate estates and/or those with significant problems, the amount of work will probably be substantial.
My ex-husband passed way in early July. I was left holding the bag on a loan he had that is secured against my home (no good deed goes unpunished). As I write now, nearly a month after his death, I still do not have proper and full access to his account. The attorneys and executor have no problem, obligation, or care that I am the one who is paying the bill. I’m just wondering when someone is going to actually be on my side in getting this done.