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The Complete Executor’s Guidebook

The Complete Executor's Guidebook

ISBN : 978-1572486041
SIZE : 8.9″ x 6.9″
PRICE : US $18.95
PAGES : 336
BRIEF : A Step-By-Step Guide To Settling A Loved One’s Estate.

The Complete Executor’s Guidebook

Book Brief

A step-by-step guide to settling a loved one’s estate.

Being an executor or personal representative is no easy task. For many, the job comes at a time of high emotion and is something that has never been done before. The Complete Executor’s Guidebook is here to help ease this troubling time and make this overwhelming task manageable.

It gives you everything you need to navigate through all the paperwork and responsibility that comes with this role. It takes you step-by-step though all of the legal and financial matters that must be completed and provides you with a plan to timely settle an estate. With it you will feel confident that you are doing everything you need to do, such as:

– Preparing for your role as an executor or trustee
– Making claims for insurance, social security and other benefits
– Understanding the will or trust provisions
– Handling situations when documents are missing
– Going to court
– Dealing with taxes
– Finding your state’s laws
– Working with lawyers, accountants, insurance agents and others

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Here’s what others are saying:

I liked this book. It is one of the better books available to help an estate administrator better understand her job as Executor, Successor Trustee, or both. The book is split into four sections and 21 chapters and includes five appendices:

§1. Preplanning and transition (1-7)
§2. Estate administration (8-21)
§3. Appendix (A-G)
§4. Glossary of Terms
0. Frequently asked questions (FAQs)
1. Plain English definitions: Wills, Probate, Trusts
2. Making sure the shoe fits to be the Executor
3. Preplanning: A conversation with your loved one
4. When death is imminent
5. At the time of passing: Your first steps
6. At the time of passing: Managing the survivors
7. At the time of passing: Notification and getting organized
8. Locating, organizing, itemizing, and categorizing the assets and liabilities of an estate
9. Navigating the sea of probate
10. Formal probate: The next steps
11. When there is no Will (laws of intestate succession)
12. Interpreting and enforcing the language of the Will
13. When a formal probate is not required
14. Managing the assets and liabilities of an estate
15. Obtaining benefits for the estate (life ins, SS, retirement, etc.)
16. Personal and estate taxes
17. Your right to compensation
18. Your role as an advisor
19. Revocable trusts and trust management
20. Do I need an attorney?
21. Words of thanks
A. Representative’s Checklist
B. Notification – List of contacts to notify upon decedent’s passing
C. State-by-state summary of probate laws
D. Unclaimed property
E. Sample forms: Final Accounting Report, and Order on Accounting
F. Blank forms: 5 included. (#4) Accounts & Debts Organizer, (#5) Personal Data & Record Locator
G. Resources

Probate laws vary from state to state. I especially liked the information provided in Appendix C regarding state-by-state summary of probate law. And it was nice to see the author reference two relevant IRS publications: Publication 559 and Publication 950. But this book is not a substitute for legal representation. It does what it is intended to do – and that is provide a basic overview of what an executor needs to know in order to do his or her job in administering an estate. By reading this book an executor will definitely be an educated consumer when consulting with an estate attorney who can help guide them through the process of settling a loved one’s estate. 4 stars!


When the end of days comes, a chosen representative is seldom prepared to take more than a first step in closure of things tangible. The Complete Executor’s Guidebook pretty well fits the next steps. It could be strengthened by telling more clearly what form or forms are needed to change banking over from Social Security Number as the recognized ID to the type of ID needed for that or those accounts and where does one go to get information and do this.

- The Lord’s Table