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Being chosen an executor is both an honor and an obligation.

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Before accepting, you should be sure you understand what you're getting into. Broadly speaking, you'll be distributing the deceased person's property and arranging for payment of estate debts and expenses. Specific duties will include: choosing the type of probate, filing the will for probate, setting up an account for paying bills, paying estate debts and taxes, maintaining willed property, making and filing an inventory with the court, distributing assets, and many more. It's a big commitment. An executor is legally responsible for sorting out the finances of the person who died, generally making sure debts and taxes are paid and what remains is properly distributed to the heirs.

State law varies on the requirements of who can serve as executors, but generally, executors tend to come from the close ranks of a family—spouses, children, parents and siblings. In addition to carrying out duties in a diligent, impartial and honest manner, an executor may also be required to perform any or all of the following activities, among others:. At this step, the executor also determines who inherits the property. Additionally, the value of the estate may allow it to pass through an expedited process. If probate is required, you need to file a petition with the court to be appointed an executor.

You will likely need an attorney's assistance to accomplish this. If the decedent is owed money such as incoming paychecks, this account can hold them. An executor should be on the lookout for mortgages, utilities and similar bills that still need to be paid throughout the probate process. In many states, the court requires the executor to submit a detailed inventory of the assets in the probate estate.

This includes keeping up a house until it is distributed to heirs or sold- even deciding whether the property needs to be sold at all. Also, an executor must be sure to find all personal property in the estate and protect it until distribution.

If the decedent had a safety deposit box, the executor should locate it and keep it safe. State law dictates the procedure for notifying creditors, and the estate must also file income tax returns from the first of the current year until the date of the decedent's death. Distribution occurs according to the wishes expressed in the will. If there is no will, state intestacy laws apply.

The Role of an Executor

If there is any property left after paying off the estate's debts and distribution to heirs, the executor is responsible for disposing of it. But while an executor can decline the position or resign at any point in the process, sometimes all that is needed is some legal advice. Consulting with an attorney is generally to make sure that the executor properly complies with his or her duties. You can move forward with confidence knowing you have the legal advice you need.

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  1. Settling an estate, in or out of probate court..
  2. What Does an Executor Do??
  3. Some Duties Can Vary But Most Are Common!
  4. We will process your request within 5 business days after we've received all of the documents and materials sent to you. Up to four executors can act at a time, but they all have to act jointly so it might not be practical to appoint that many people. For example, you might choose one family member and one professional, like a solicitor or accountant.

    Professional executors tend to charge, but it can be helpful to have someone involved with specialist knowledge. You can appoint substitute executors to cover the situation if your first choice dies before you. For example, if you appoint one of your children and a solicitor as your executors, they might decide that your child might be the best person to deal sensitively with other family members, while the solicitor handles the tax and legal work. If the financial side of your will is especially complicated, it could be a good idea to choose a bank or accountant as one of your executors.

    Of course, these professional specialists will charge you for their work.

    What Does an Executor Do? | Nolo

    This happens in one of two ways:. Make sure you understand how your solicitor, bank or accountant will charge for being an executor and how much each option will cost before you commit yourself. Sorry, web chat is only available on internet browsers with JavaScript. Sorry, web chat is currently offline, our opening hours are.

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    Choosing your executor The person who sorts out your property when you die and carries out the instructions in your will is called your executor. What does an executor do?

    Settling an estate, in or out of probate court.

    Who can be an executor of a will? What makes a good executor? The job of an executor is sometimes difficult. For example they might have to: Decide when to sell your property so that the people who inherit the proceeds get the most money Make sure the right amount of Inheritance Tax, Capital Gains Tax or Income Tax gets paid Who can be an executor of a will?

    Class Executors

    In fact this is very common. Watch out! UK website opens in new window. Writing a will — your options. Did you find this guide helpful? Yes No. Care to share? Thank you for your feedback.