While being named the executor of a loved one's estate is an honor, it is also a big responsibility. Often people don't know where to start, especially since it is likely recently that the person whose estate management is being handed over has recently passed and grieving is still involved. Let's look at some of the duties and responsibilities of an executor.
Wheat Ridge Executor of a Will Lawyer: Steps to Be Taken by an Estate Executor
An executor has many different responsibilities once they take over the estate management. One responsibility is to handle the grieving family members. In essence, you will be the point person. You are tasked with making sure the person's wishes are carried out. This may mean dealing with complex issues related to asset division and dispersal. You are responsible for making sure all taxes and benefits are paid out appropriately, as they are considered a part of the estate. This means you may need to get a prorated sum of the taxes from any beneficiaries. You are also the one who handles any disagreements about the will. In a probate case, you will represent the estate. Additional responsibilities and duties include:
- Filing the will with the probate court;
- Opening a bank account to deal with paying bills and managing incoming funds;
- Notifying appropriate agencies (bank, government, credit card companies, etc.) of the person's death;
- Handling property and assets until they are distributed or sold;
- Paying all taxes and debts on the estate;
- Taking inventory of the estate's assets;
- Dispensing assets;
- Determining if probate is necessary and representing the estate in court;
Often, executors - especially if dealing with a complicated estate - hire an experienced estate planning and probate attorney to help manage the process.