It doesn’t matter if you’re creating a will and naming an executor or someone has asked you to serve in this capacity, it’s critical to understand everything the role entails.
In general terms, the executor is responsible for managing a person’s estate and distributing property based on the terms and conditions of their will. This can result in a variety of duties, including but not limited to:
- Locating assets and maintaining them until they’re ready for distribution
- Determining if probate is necessary, and if so, seeing the process through
- Contacting all individuals named in the will and keeping them current on the process
- Obtaining any final payments, such as Social Security benefits, that are due to them
- Paying final income taxes and any debts
- Ensuring that all property is distributed to the appropriate heirs as outlined in the will
With so many duties, you don’t want to choose just anyone to act as the executor of your will. Furthermore, if someone asks you to be the executor of their will, you need to fully understand what you could be responsible for at some point in the future.
If you choose the right executor, you can be confident that this person will take all the appropriate steps upon your death. But if you neglect to make this election or assume anyone can do the job, you may not have the peace of mind you’re looking for.
The role of an executor of a will runs deep, so take the time necessary to learn more about the duties and impact on estate planning and estate distribution.