When it comes to estate planning and creating a will, it is important to understand the role of an executor.
An executor, or personal representative, is a person who is appointed to handle the distribution of a deceased person’s estate according to their will. The executor’s role is a crucial one, as they are responsible for managing the deceased person’s assets, paying debts and taxes, and distributing the remaining assets to the beneficiaries named in the will. The executor can also be appointed by a court in cases where there was no prior appointment of an executor, such as those without a will or where the will did not appoint an executor.
What Does an Executor Do?
The executor’s primary responsibility is to carry out the instructions specified in the will. This involves:
- Collecting and managing the deceased person’s assets.
- Paying debts and taxes owed by the deceased person.
- Distributing the remaining assets to the beneficiaries named in the will.
The executor must also ensure that the distribution of the estate is carried out in a timely manner and in accordance with the law. This may require the executor to obtain probate, which is a court order that confirms the validity of the will and gives the executor the authority to distribute the assets.
Who Can be an Executor?
Anyone who is over the age of 18 and has the capacity to handle the responsibilities of the role can be an executor. The deceased person may name a family member, friend, or professional such as a lawyer or accountant as their executor in their will. It is important to choose an executor who is trustworthy, responsible, and capable of carrying out the duties of the role.
What are the Benefits of Having an Executor?
Having an executor can provide peace of mind for the deceased person and their loved ones. The executor ensures that the deceased person’s wishes are carried out in a timely and efficient manner, and helps to avoid any disputes or misunderstandings among beneficiaries.
An executor can also provide valuable support and guidance to the beneficiaries during a difficult time. They can assist with navigating the legal process and provide information about the deceased person’s assets and debts.
Choosing an Executor
When choosing an executor, it is important to consider the following factors:
- Trustworthiness: The executor must be someone who is reliable and trustworthy. They will have access to the deceased person’s assets and personal information, so it is important to choose someone who will act in the best interests of the beneficiaries.
- Responsibility: The executor must be someone who is capable of carrying out the responsibilities of the role. This may involve managing finances, paying debts and taxes, and communicating with beneficiaries.
- Availability: The executor must be available to carry out their duties in a timely manner. It is important to choose someone who is able to prioritize the role and who has the time and resources to handle the responsibilities.
Estate Planning with Heritage Law Office
Heritage Law Office is dedicated to helping clients plan for the future and ensure that their assets are protected. Our experienced attorneys offer comprehensive estate planning services, including the creation of wills, trusts, powers of attorney, and living wills. We can help you avoid probate and ensure that your assets are distributed according to your wishes.
Whether you are interested in setting up an irrevocable trust or a revocable trust or a power of attorney, our attorneys can help you understand your options and make informed decisions about your estate planning needs. Give us a call at 414-253-8500 or send us a message to learn more or for a consultation.
An executor plays a crucial role in the distribution of a deceased person’s estate. It is important to choose an executor who is trustworthy, responsible, and capable of carrying out the duties of the role. When estate planning and creating a will, it is important to consider the benefits of having an executor and to choose someone who will ensure that the deceased person’s wishes are carried out in a timely and efficient manner.
Bradley J. Sarkauskas, Attorney-at-Law