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Thursday, April 23, 2020

What Are the Responsibilities of an Executor?

Estate planning is something everyone should do as soon as possible. It is an important process that puts critical legal tools in place to protect you and your loved ones. There will be many difficult decisions you will have to make during the estate planning process. This is true just of creating your Last Will and Testament. You will need to decide things like who you want to inherit which of your assets and who you would want to serve as your child’s guardian. You will also need to select an executor of your estate. Selecting an executor is often not given much thought. By default, people end up selecting a spouse, adult child, or some other family member. Selecting the right executor, however, is important and requires some reflection as to who would be best suited to take on the many responsibilities an executor is tasked with.

What are the Responsibilities of an Executor?

To select the person best suited for the role of executor of your estate, it is good to first have an understanding of the duties and responsibilities of an executor. First and foremost, the executor must prepare and submit the necessary legal documents to open the probate of the estate process. These documents must be filed with the appropriate court so that the probate process can begin.

Additionally, the executor must identify, locate, and secure the assets of the estate. The executor must take inventory of the estate and value its assets. This means obtaining the value for all estate assets as of the date of the testator’s death. Sometimes, experts such as appraisers or certified public accountants are required in order to properly value assets. The executor must also manage estate assets. Management of estate assets includes making sure assets are properly maintained, seeing to any upkeep that may be needed, and seeing to it that any repairs are completed.

The executor must also notify creditors of the estate. The estate’s known creditors are usually personally notified by the executor. Unknown creditors have to be notified through publishing notice of the probate proceedings in local newspapers. The executor must also review the claims of potential creditors to make sure they are valid. The executor will approve or deny the claim. A potential creditor has the right to appeal a denial with the court. Approved claims are paid from assets of the estate. If the estate is unable to pay creditor claims, an executor may need to sell some of the estate’s assets in order to satisfy creditor claims.

The executor must also prepare and pay taxes for the estate. This includes preparing and paying all state and federal taxes owed by the estate. This must be completed before the probate process can be closed out. Last, but not least, the executor must transfer assets to the beneficiaries according to the terms of the will.

Estate Planning Attorney

Monk Law is here to help you navigate the estate planning process. Estate planning is too important to put off. We will work with you to create a comprehensive estate plan that meets the unique needs of you and your loved ones. Contact Monk Law today.


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