When a loved one passes away, you might find yourself in the position of being the executor of their estate. This role comes with a lot of responsibility and you might feel overwhelmed by the gravity of legal pressure placed upon you.
The executor is the appointed person charged with administering the will of the deceased, carrying out their intent as stated in all relevant estate planning documents. By understanding more about what an executor must do and how you can prepare for this role, you can handle these important affairs with confidence.
What does an executor do?
Your primary duty as executor is to account for all assets, such as financial accounts, investments or real estate, left behind by the deceased. You then must oversee the distribution of these assets as intended, and you must ensure the repayment of all outstanding debts as well. An executor is also responsible for settling disputes between heirs.
Who can be an executor?
The testator can name anyone as an executor in their will, including a family member or lawyer. In the absence of such an appointment, the probate court will assign executor duties to a suitable individual. If a loved one chooses to name you as executor, however, you can prepare for the role ahead of time by ensuring that their finances and other records are in order well ahead of their passing.
Even if you discuss the matter of being executor with your loved one ahead of time, you might still find yourself overwhelmed when the time comes to carry out that responsibility. Do not hesitate to seek legal counsel if you need assistance performing your duties to the fullest.