When someone passes away, the person they named as executor presents their will for probate in the state and county where the deceased individual lived when they passed.
The primary duty of an executor is to ensure that the wishes of the deceased person are carried out and to manage their affairs.
If you’ve been asked to act as someone’s executor for their estate, learn more about the role of an executor before you accept:
Responsibilities of an executor
If you are named as the executor of someone’s will, your responsibilities will be the following after they pass away:
- Ensure the testator maintains a list of debts and assets
- Know the location of the original will and asset list
- Know the attorneys or agents named by the testator and their roles
- Discuss the testator’s wishes regarding funerals and memorial services
Before their death, discuss the will and wishes with the testator
Why are executors so important in estate planning?
The executor is a key element of any estate plan. When someone creates an estate plan, they are creating detailed instructions on how their assets will be distributed, managed and preserved when they pass away.
Being named as the executor of someone’s estate is an honor, but it also requires a lot of time and work. Before agreeing to take on this role, you must fully understand what you are responsible for. This will also ensure you are prepared to handle the process, even if it takes months or longer to complete.
Fulfilling your duty as an executor
While an executor has a big job, it is honorable and not without assistance. Once the individual who named you executor passes away, you have legal resources which can help ensure you properly handle the estate.