An Executor of an estate is legally responsible for the maintenance and distribution of finances, assets, and other property of someone who has passed away. You would be responsible for sorting out debts and taxes, and distributing the remaining funds to appointed heirs. Although state laws vary on who can be designated as an Executor, in most cases, they will be a close family member.
While Executors are expected to complete the necessary tasks of distributing and settling an estate in a timely and detailed manner, they may also be asked to do the following:
- Request a copy of the Will and file it with Probate court: It is crucial that the Executor is familiar with the Will and understands it in its entirety. Even if probate is not necessary, it is often still necessary to file the Will with the court.
- Notify financial institutions and Government of the death: In order to settle debts and taxes, all parties must be notified of the person’s passing.
- Decide what probate, if any, is needed: Some laws allow for inheritance without Probate, specifically to a spouse or child. However, if a Probate is necessary, it is the Executor’s job to help facilitate it.
- Estate representation in legal court: It is possible that an Executor would need to go to court to represent the estate.
- Maintain any property until it can be claimed: This could include upkeep of a home or financial accounts until they are claimed by family or to whoever is specified within the Will.
- Pay fees and debts, and distribute any remaining assets: It is the Executor’s responsibility to pay legal fees and any remaining debts. Once this is accomplished, the remaining assets will be delivered to those that the Will instructs.
If you are appointed the Executor of an estate, it can be quite a large undertaking. A Greenwich Estate Planning Lawyer from McCarthy Law can help you to navigate this space. Reach out to us today to see how we can help!