When Patrick O’Brien lost each of his parents, he thought they had made all the necessary arrangements for their funerals and how their home, money and belongings would be distributed. While they had put much of their modest estate in order, he found out firsthand how much still needed to be done when he was named as executor.
“I was truly shocked at the number of decisions to be made and details to be managed. I had an outstanding attorney, a great accountant and a wonderful funeral home director,” O’Brien said. “But it was still my job to manage the overall process, get the estate closed, and make sure my siblings, who were the beneficiaries, were happy. It was a lot of work. Work that had to be done while I was grieving, working full time, and married with kids. I thought there MUST be a better way.”
So O’Brien came up with the idea to create an online tool to help comprehensively manage the process of being an executor – leveraging technology for the first time to help executors work much more efficiently with estate attorneys, and in some cases, settle an estate themselves. A professor at Miami University’s highly-ranked Farmer School of Business, O’Brien also reached out to former student Allen Burt. Burt is CEO of Blue Stout, an innovative web development firm. Burt immediately saw the potential to simplify this cumbersome process and partnered with O’Brien to create Executor.org.
O’Brien and Burt have built a team of lawyers, financial planners, web designers, real estate brokers, researchers, writers, a process analytics expert and a psychotherapist who collectively thought it was time to create a better way to manage the executor role. And because almost everyone on the team has served as an executor or executrix, the collective knowledge comes from practical experience, not just professional expertise. The team has been passionate about creating a better solution to settle an estate, because everyone personally understands the complexity and frustration inherent in this important role.
We’ve spent thousands of hours simplifying this sprawling process into simple action steps so you can better understand it and navigate your executor duties and responsibilities with greater ease – regardless of your personal situation.
Please note, we don’t offer legal or tax advice. We will, however, guide you through this 100+ step journey – saving you time, saving you money, and connecting you with resources who can assist you along the way. We also hope to help you minimize the legal risk you have incurred in accepting this role and manage your stress during a very difficult time in your life.
The result of our work is Executor.org – an interactive, step-by-step guide that walks an executor through the entire process of closing an estate, which can include as many as 150 steps. The interactive checklist, which can be used from a computer, tablet, or smartphone, will fundamentally change the way the role is performed for people who use the tool. We also connect executors who would like more help with experienced attorneys at discounted rates.
“I remember feeling so overwhelmed as an executor and wondering why there wasn’t something like this out there to help me stay organized and on track,” O’Brien said. “Now there is, and we’re very pleased to have the opportunity to help executors through this complex role.”
We hope you’ll agree that we have organized and streamlined this process in a way that has never been accomplished before.
You will notice that we never ask for financial account numbers or Social Security numbers. We believe that this is an important safeguard for you, the consumer. We feel that entering account numbers (or uploading documents with those numbers on them) represents an unnecessary risk.
Because we value our privacy, we will respect yours too. We understand during this stressful process your time will be at a premium and we will not overwhelm you with irrelevant emails.
From time to time, we may establish strategic partnerships to aid our users in closing out their estates. Your information may be shared with or sold to our partners in an effort to enhance the experience of our service.