Navigating the Turbulent Skies of Estate Administration

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Navigating the Turbulent Skies of Estate Administration

Navigating the Turbulent Skies of Estate Administration

Chronicles of an Executor: Article #1
Navigating the Turbulent Skies of Estate Administration

Source: Apartment News Magazine
By Timothy Gorman
Real Estate Broker/CPA/Entrepreneur

As many of you know, Bill Gorman, my father, passed away in May 2023. He was a remarkable man and a key figure in my life, personally and professionally,

We spent countless hours together, both on the softball field and in the business field of real estate. In 2010, I joined him in his brokerage business, and together we embarked on a journey of building legacy plans for our long-term clients and for my father.

I knew that one day I would be thrust into the role of executor. After so much time working together and helping my father craft his legacy, I thought I would step easily into this new role. Little did I realize how naïve I was in making that assumption!

Serving as an executor is a rare occurrence. Many individuals go through life without ever facing the task of “closing the books” on another person’s financial affairs and helping their heirs forge new financial lives on their own. It is a complex transition made even more challenging by the emotional weight of losing a loved one.

Becoming an executor is like embarking upon a skydiving adventure. You start on the ground and, although nervous, you gain self-confidence as you practice the moves you will need to know. You surround yourself with experts, ask questions, and do everything you can to prepare for the jump. You rehearse the scenario repeatedly until you feel secure in your knowledge.

However, once in the air, you realize that no amount of preparation would ever make you truly ready for the experience. The intensity slowly builds as the plane climbs to the proper altitude. You find yourself questioning what you are doing.

As you look out the open door, you see the ground thousands of feet below. However, the moment you jump out of the plane, that focal point rapidly falls away, and you are hit by a surge of emotions — nausea, anxiety, fear. The gravity of the situation overwhelms you. You realize you are on your own. Although your team might be falling alongside you, ultimately you are responsible for navigating the path to your own safe landing.

In my journey as an executor, I find myself in the early stages of a controlled descent. I have already encountered and skillfully avoided a few potentially costly mistakes, particularly concerning bank accounts and corporations. More on that topic will be covered in future articles,

The entire process is likely to take over a year or longer. At every step, I am learning and journaling my experiences. My plan is to document the highs, lows, and lessons learned, and to share that knowledge in a series of articles for the benefit of the members of the AAOC. While I cannot predict where this adventure will lead, I believe many of you will find value in accompanying me on this journey.

The executor role demands equal parts preparation, resilience, and adaptability. Just like a skydiver in mid-air, you need to confront those unexpected challenges head-on, relying on skills learned and the support of others. My goal is to help you navigate that future by shedding some light on the executor’s role, while providing some practical wisdom and a touch of humor.

Stay tuned for the next article, where we will explore some of the crucial aspects of estate planning and how they lay the foundation for a smoother executorship. We will delve into such topics as creating a comprehensive legacy plan, selecting trusted advisors, and addressing potential pitfalls.

If you have any specific questions or topics that you would like covered in future articles, please send me an email or give me a call. Together, let’s embark on this journey of understanding and demystifying the executor’s role in the implementation of a legacy.

After all, even in the face of gravity, we can find the strength to soar.

Timothy Gorman is a licensed Real Estate Broker, Certified Public Accountant (inactive), small business owner, and avid entrepreneur. Beginning his career as a financial auditor with KPMG, he held several high-level positions in marketing and finance before joining his father at WR Gorman & Associates in 2010. With the passing of Bill Gorman in May, 2023, Tim became the Executor of his father’s estate and oversees the family’s brokerage business and investment properties.