Janice Specht was appointed as the executor for the estate of her cousin, a woman who lived modestly but was sitting on $12.5 million. Ms. Specht had never acted as an executor before, and so hired Mary Backsman, the lawyer who drafted the will, to assist her with the administration of the estate. Unfortunately for Ms. Specht, Ms. Backsman was battling brain cancer and began falling further and further behind in her work. In the end, by the time Ms. Specht fired Ms. Backsman and hired another lawyer to assist, she had missed several deadlines and caused the estate $1.2 million in tax penalties.
Choosing the right executor is extremely important; choosing the right professional advisors is equally so.
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