What Does An Executor of a Will Do?
Estate planning law uses a lot of terms that aren’t common in conversation. One term that seems to be misunderstood is “executor”. What is the executor of a will and what responsibilities do they have?
The executor position holds a high level of responsibility. When a person trusts your judgment, they designate you as the executor. It can be challenging for some people to undertake all the duties, and they can opt-out of the job. However, you can take the assistance of your co-executor, professionals, and beneficiaries instead of doing everything as an obligation. If you are willing to be one, you need to understand all the tasks an executor needs to complete for better execution.
What Powers Does an Executor Have?
The executor can access the bank accounts, any assets, and documents related to the estate. However, the executor is only supposed to carry out the wishes mentioned in the will. Otherwise, they are liable for abusing the powers or making mistakes.
When having a will prepared, you will want to discuss possible executors with your Downriver estate planning attorney.
What Responsibilities Does the Executor of a Will Have?
If you have been named the executor of someone’s will, you may wonder what responsibilities you have been given. The answer isn’t always the same. While some responsibilities are common, a will maker can assign other special duties to their executors.
If You’re an Executor, Talk to the Will Maker
It would be beneficial if you could talk to the will maker before their demise. You can thoroughly understand their intentions and wishes by communicating directly with them instead of the written will. You can also learn the stories behind their sentimental and personal assets if you want to tell the successors about them. Make sure you ask the will maker about all essential details regarding the will, like where to find it and information about various financial assets.
Being the Executor of a Will Means You Have to Register the Death
After the death of the will maker, the executor will have to register the death with the registrars of births, deaths, and marriages to obtain a death certificate. The copies of death certificates will be required by many concerned organizations, like banks, insurance companies, and tax authorities.
As the Executor, You Need to Obtain the Will
The executor should obtain the will and understand it. They can then begin with the probate process if one is required. You can then find out what, if any, other responsibilities you have. But the most important of these will be to start the probate process.
To Start the Probate Process, You Need to Apply for the Probate Grant
The executor should register and file the will in the probate court even if probation is not required. The grant will also let the executor access the bank accounts and funds to proceed with estate distribution.
If you live in the Downriver area, you can do so here
As the Executor, You’ll Need to Inform Beneficiaries & Other Parties
The executor should inform about the death of the will maker everyone mentioned in the will. The executor can post a notification in the newspaper or mail everyone separately. Other organizations like the banks and insurance companies also need to be notified to take relevant actions.
Executors of Wills Often Need to Arrange For The Funeral
The funeral should be conducted as wished in the will. The deceased’s estate pays to cover the cost of the funeral.
If you are without a will, you may want to at least inform a relative or friend of your funeral wishes. If you pass away intestate, the government will not plan an elegant funeral for you.
You Will Also Need to File an Inventory For the Deceased
All items in the estate need to be on file with the probate court. This will be necessary when the estate is settled.
Be Sure to Evaluate & Protect the Estate
The estate should be evaluated before distribution. Further, the executor needs to safeguard all the documents and details about the estate until distributed.
As An Executor, You Will Need to Settle Debts & Taxes
All the taxes and debts owed by the deceased should be settled. The estate will pay the amount for such settlements.
You Will Also Distribute the Estate
The executor’s final task is to distribute the assets according to the will. While there is much to be done, the distribution of assets is the final task you have.
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