What Does The Executor Of A Will Do?

February 25, 2024


Estate Planning Lawyer

What Does The Executor Of A Will Do? 

When planning for the future and writing your will, you will need to name an executor. This executor will be the person to complete the tasks in your will and divide your assets and funds to each of your beneficiaries, but what are the specific roles the executor is responsible for? In order to simplify this process for easy understanding there are four steps the executor will take. 

Presenting The Will 

The first step that an executor has to take is to go to probate court in front of a judge and be officially appointed as the executor of the will. The decedent will have the executor named in their will but the judge will allow the executor to begin collecting and distributing assets by appointing that individual as the executor. After that, the executor can access financial accounts, transfer assets, and carry out any other responsibilities in the will. 

Identify And Collect Estate Assets 

A lawyer, like an estate planning lawyer, can tell you that the executor will then collect the estate assets such as vehicles or real estate, and compile a list in order to begin distributing assets and money. If the decedent has real estate in another state then the executor will need to start another probate process in that state to ensure they are following the laws of that specific state.

Pay Any Debts Owed By The Deceased At Their Time Of Death 

Even though the individual has passed, debts and taxes still must be paid and now it is the responsibility of the executor. The executor will notify all creditors to guarantee that it is a legitimate debt before paying. They will also file a tax return for the decedent and the estate and pay any taxes that are due. The executor will need to make sure that they notify the Social Security Administration regarding any benefits and the executor will also need to confirm that they’ve canceled their credit cards. 

Distribute The Remaining Money According To The Terms Of The Will 

The final step is ensuring that all beneficiaries receive the funds that they are documented to receive in the will. As lawyers, like those at Brandy Austin Law Firm know, the executor will locate all beneficiaries and give them the assets based on the terms in the will. If an asset is not stated in the will, the executor will distribute it according to the state’s law. After all funds and assets have been properly distributed, they will return to the judge in probate court and ask to close the estate and discharge them as an executor. This will take place when their duties as executor have been fulfilled and they are all finished. The process of probate and distributing assets can be strenuous for the executor or loved ones of the decedent but legal help is an option in these situations. When you need help with your will, speak with a legal team you can rely on.
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Anastasia Fainberg
Attorney at Law
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