Western PA's Premier Estate Administration & Estate Planning Law Firm

Rule #1 for Executors: Keep the Beneficiaries Well-Informed

Serving as an Executor is certainly an honor, but it’s also a lot of work. You can easily overwhelmed by many responsibilities and forget that there are anxious beneficiaries waiting in the background.  While your priorities should remain focused on gathering the estate assets, paying the bills and filing the appropriate tax return, don’t forget to keep the beneficiaries advised as to how things are proceeding.  

Beneficiaries who feel left out of the loop can become quite impatient, suspicious and often difficult to deal with during the probate estate administration process.  These frustrations and suspicions can boil over into hostile and protracted legal battles.  However, if you exercise some common sense and stay in constant communication with the beneficiaries during the administrative process, a lot of these problems can be avoided.

Always Take the First Step

As soon as you begin to undertake the probate process, get in touch with the beneficiaries and let them know what to expect. Never wait for the beneficiaries to reach out and contact you first. A phone call, email or letter from you will go a long way towards ensuring that everything runs smoothly.  Remember, it’s impossible to tell them exactly how long the administrative process will take, but giving them an estimated timeframe is certainly helpful.  Likewise, if you’re engaging an estate attorney to assist you in the process, providing them with the attorney’s name and contact information can go a long ways toward alleviating any concerns they might otherwise have.

Stay Calm and Patient

Depending on the size and complexity of the estate, the probate process can quickly become burdensome and difficult. When you start to become frustrated, remind yourself that this whole process is probably new to the beneficiaries as well.  Answering some of the many questions that they may have might be time consuming, but it will go along ways toward ensuring that your administration proceeds smoothly. Answer their questions to the best of your ability and let them know about any new developments that may come up. 

If the beneficiaries start complaining or making accusations, don’t panic. Effective communication can generally ease a lot of the anxieties they may be feeling.  If you find yourself needing help to deal with particularly difficult beneficiaries, that’s really where the services of an experienced estate attorney can come into play.

American Wills & Estates is a locally founded, owned and operated law firm that has been assisting clients in Pittsburgh and throughout Western Pennsylvania through the Probate Estate Administration process with competency, compassion and care for over 26 years. 



Our attorneys have over 145 years of combined legal experience and our entire practice is focused exclusively on Estate Planning and Probate Estate Administration law.


Unlike most law firms, we provide the majority of our legal services on a flat fee basis.  You’ll know in advance exactly what our legal services are going cost and we do not expect to be paid until the estate administration process has been completed.


We have a number of convenient office locations and we also provide home, hospital, evening and weekend appointments upon request.


We strive to ensure that our clients are pleased with the legal services that we provide.  Read our many positive online client reviews .

So, if you’ve recently lost a loved one and are not sure where to turn for competent, caring and compassionate legal help, give us a call today at (412) 381-7370 to schedule your free legal consultation or visit our law firm online.  You’ll be glad you did.


Pittsburgh Probate Estate Administration and Estate Planning Lawyers