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Book recommendation - Executor's Guide
Old 03-29-2011, 09:01 AM   #1
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Book recommendation - Executor's Guide

I have an immediate need for an executor's guide to settling an estate. Nolo has one: "The Executors Guide", The Executor's Guide by Mary Randolph - Nolo , their publications are generally thorough and useful. Perhaps someone here has read or knows of another publication or e-book. This is a situation where there is a valid will and substantial assets (mostly in IRAs) but no trust.
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Old 03-29-2011, 11:25 AM   #2
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My DW was recently executrix for her father's estate. I wound up doing most of the work. I educated myself by googling "duties of executor", "state? probate process", etc. There are a wealth of guides out there for free and I found it better to consult multiple sources than just one.

We did have an attorney that we used to file the court documents since we reside in a different state than her father did. We also consulted him with questions but we did all of the other paperwork ourselves, which saved considerably on legal bills. We also had a family friend who is a CPA do the estate and final tax returns for us. We paid the attorney fees and accounting fees out of the proceeds of the estate.

It was time consuming but not that difficult to do all of this.
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Old 03-29-2011, 05:01 PM   #3
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Grumpy, thanks for the post. I agree that web searches can provide lots of info, but I'd still prefer at least one guide to help. There are lots of people involved so its better to be sure.
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Old 03-29-2011, 05:42 PM   #4
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A year or so ago someone posted on this site and recommended the book How to Settle an Estate by Charles K. Plotnick and Stephan R Leimberg. I bought the book but haven't read it yet.
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Old 03-30-2011, 07:19 AM   #5
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A year or so ago someone posted on this site and recommended the book How to Settle an Estate by Charles K. Plotnick and Stephan R Leimberg. I bought the book but haven't read it yet.
That book was recommended over at Bogleheads. It has a kindle version so I may get it. If so I'll try to post a review.
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Old 12-22-2013, 10:01 AM   #6
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That book was recommended over at Bogleheads. It has a kindle version so I may get it. If so I'll try to post a review.
Any updates on your search for a good Executor's guide?
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Old 12-22-2013, 10:08 AM   #7
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I think we'll be looking for one too. FIL passed away last Friday (not unexpected). Since we've been working with an elder law attorney for over a year and structured his assets she mentioned that there may not even be an estate. I'm not sure how that works. We'll have to meet with them after the holidays since the main person we were dealing with has taken a week off.
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Old 12-22-2013, 02:24 PM   #8
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Sorry for not updating in a timely manner.

I purchased both books referenced earlier in the thread, "The Executor's Guide" from NOLO and "How to Settle an Estate" by Charles K. Plotnick and Stephan R Leimberg. They were good background reading, one was more than enough .. almost too much, either would do unless there are specific aspects that are not common. The estate (an Aunt) was probated in Illinois, the probate attorney pretty much took charge of the process and guided the whole thing in a helpful manner, his fee was reasonable. We anticipated no issues and there was only one which we discussed here. We had questions and confusion regarding IRA's, we found some help here on the forum and on a couple of other websites..

In general, our anticipation of potential issues was worse than reality. My brother was executor, I did the leg work, it went smoothly and settled well. It did take a lot longer than wew expected.

Walt34, condolences to you and your DW for your loss. From the posts you have shared I'd guess you don't need to read much else and are more than prepared to manage this.
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Old 12-22-2013, 07:29 PM   #9
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Sorry for not updating in a timely manner.

I purchased both books referenced earlier in the thread, "The Executor's Guide" from NOLO and "How to Settle an Estate" by Charles K. Plotnick and Stephan R Leimberg. They were good background reading, one was more than enough .. almost too much, either would do unless there are specific aspects that are not common. .
Between the two books which would you recommend?
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Old 12-22-2013, 08:42 PM   #10
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I have an immediate need for an executor's guide to settling an estate. Nolo has one: "The Executors Guide", The Executor's Guide by Mary Randolph - Nolo , their publications are generally thorough and useful. Perhaps someone here has read or knows of another publication or e-book. This is a situation where there is a valid will and substantial assets (mostly in IRAs) but no trust.
Be careful in that you really want a state specific book, as how things are done can vary from state to state.
As to the tax returns note that Turbotax business does form 1041s (for estates and trusts), so you can do those yourself.
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Old 12-23-2013, 06:24 AM   #11
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Between the two books which would you recommend?
To get a broad' "big picture" view of everything that happens after someone passes away, the NOLO publication.
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Old 12-23-2013, 07:54 AM   #12
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To get a broad' "big picture" view of everything that happens after someone passes away, the NOLO publication.
Thanks. I need an overview. Trying to prepare for my Executor role(s) that will be upcoming.
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Old 12-23-2013, 08:02 AM   #13
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To get a broad' "big picture" view of everything that happens after someone passes away, the NOLO publication.
Let me add two comments. First, NOLO often updates their "how to" books every two or three years, and the current edition is 2012, so a new edition may soon be available. Second, I don't think this book (or any other) enables one to go without an attorney. I used to think it would, but after working on the disposition of two estates and one slightly complex trust, I'll gladly pay for an experienced attorney.
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