Losing a loved one is undoubtedly a challenging experience, and the duties involved with executorship often feel unbearable. Regardless of whether someone is new to the executor role or has previous experience, it is important to note that no two estates are identical. In this blog, we will delve into the journey of Jordan Dutchak, a past executor, whose experiences resonate with many others undergoing estate settlement. Through a reflective discussion, our aim is to equip funeral professionals with the necessary resources required to assist families as they navigate the intricate process of executorship.
With no experience of loss being entirely the same, every estate and settlement process poses unique challenges. When Jordan’s brother suddenly passed, he found himself thrust into the role of executor, a responsibility that requires immense focus and emotional dependability. Not wanting to step into the role blindly, Jordan worked alongside his father who had previous experience with executorship. However, they both soon realized that the settlement process cannot be replicated, especially given their family member’s unexpected passing and lack of arranged affairs.
The initial impact of executorship can be jarring. As soon as a loved one passes away, executors are immediately thrown into the process of planning the funeral. Jordan candidly shared his experience, highlighting that while others seemed to move on after the funeral, he found himself grappling with the overwhelming task of managing the estate. There was no pause to allow for grieving when the demands of executorship were just around the corner.
"You have this two week sprint of just trying to make it through the funeral and then attempting to decompress. But there’s a point where okay, now there’s work that has to be done."
Being an executor is akin to taking on a full-time job. After the initial shock and the flurry of tasks surrounding the funeral had subsided, Jordan found himself shifting into work mode, driven by a sense of duty to handle the practical aspects before allowing himself the space to grieve. Reflecting on that period, he acknowledged the emotional toll that the first few months of the settlement process had taken on him. Acting as an executor can often feel isolating; you witness others progressing through their healing journey while you're left to balance your emotional exhaustion with the critical tasks at hand, such as safeguarding your loved one’s accounts and assets.
"You’re worried about how to get a start on the insurance submissions or the bank account. Even if not to resolve everything, but to ensure that things are secure."
Project management becomes an integral part of the executor's responsibilities. Coordinating with others for signatures, task completion, and obtaining crucial document information can be challenging. Jordan compared this aspect of executor work to "the most intensive group project." Not only are you tasked with understanding the role yourself, you must also empower and mobilize others to join what’s likely an emotionally charged situation and provide assistance. Due to this immense responsibility and the sheer amount of time spent on the estate settlement process, he emphasized the importance of knowing what needs to be done to manage tasks effectively.
“Looking back, we're probably talking about hundreds of hours [spent on estate settlement]. It's one thing to do the work. It's another thing to even know what you need to do. You can't solve a problem unless you recognize it.”
Support plays a pivotal role in alleviating the burdens of executorship. Having someone to guide and support you throughout the process can make a tremendous difference. Jordan found solace in the trust and rapport he developed with the funeral director and staff, knowing that they were there to assist him during his most vulnerable moments. In Jordan’s case, the funeral director led him to Cadence – a solution that provided comfort and a personalized plan forward through the treacherous task of estate settlement.
“There was a lot of comfort in knowing that we had a plan”
For Cadence, hearing stories such as Jordan’s surrounding the initial executor experience are far too common. Through the help of our Executor Assistant tool, we offer executors the knowledge, certified support, and personalized task lists necessary to navigate the settlement process with ease. No longer is it necessary to endlessly search for answers or juggle numerous internet queries. Cadence streamlines the process by providing executors with the information they need, precisely when it’s needed.
The personalized estate settlement roadmap and easy to use platform offered through the Executor Assistant ensures that no crucial details are overlooked. Jordan appreciatively shared, "Because the platform curated the whole corpus of information for us, it felt like I didn't miss anything." Moreover, the ability to differentiate between longer-term tasks and mission-critical ones provides executors a sense of relief during an otherwise overwhelming time. Through a clearer sense of responsibility and empowerment in their role, they can confidently navigate estate settlement alongside their trusted team of professionals.
At Cadence, we understand the immense challenges faced by executors like Jordan. That is why we are dedicated to providing the support needed to navigate the settlement process with confidence and convenience. If you find that the families you serve are amidst the complexities of estate settlement, turn to Cadence. With our Executor Assistant tool, your funeral home will stand out from the crowd with unmatched personalized guidance and certified support, enhancing the executor journey for your families.
Don't let your families navigate this overwhelming process alone - connect with a Cadence representative today to book your free consultation.
Interview with Jordan Dutchak, prior executor and past client of Cadence.