Eight Steps to Take When Settling an Estate as the Executor

Being the executor of an estate can be overwhelming, but breaking the process down into individual steps can help make it much less daunting.

A woman works on her laptop and with a calculator while her husband and baby play in the background.
(Image credit: Getty Images)

The loss of a loved one can be an overwhelming experience, and to make matters worse, there are important decisions to be made despite the grief. Having a clearly defined process in place for managing an estate can help avoid the emotional drain of making important decisions. Of course, it is completely natural for emotions to run high when a loved one passes and to have some confusion around what to do and when to do it.

As an executor of an estate, it is all too common to have well-intentioned friends and family members who want to support and care for you offer their opinions and advice. While this can be helpful at times, the downside of acting on this information without a well-thought-out plan can potentially lead to problems and regrets after everything is said and done.

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This article was written by and presents the views of our contributing adviser, not the Kiplinger editorial staff. You can check adviser records with the SEC or with FINRA.

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Brian Skrobonja, Chartered Financial Consultant (ChFC®)
Founder & President, Skrobonja Financial Group LLC and Skrobonja Wealth Management, LLC

Brian Skrobonja is a Chartered Financial Consultant (ChFC®) and Certified Private Wealth Advisor (CPWA®), as well as an author, blogger, podcaster and speaker. He is the founder and president of a St. Louis, Mo.-based wealth management firm. His goal is to help his audience discover the root of their beliefs about money and challenge them to think differently to reach their goals. Brian is the author of three books, and his Common Sense podcast was named one of the Top 10 podcasts by Forbes. In 2017, 2019, 2020, 2021 and 2022, Brian was awarded Best Wealth Manager. In 2021, he received Best in Business and the Future 50 in 2018 from St. Louis Small Business.