Executor of an Estate: What You Are Responsible for When You Have Been Named in a Will

When a loved one dies with a will and names you as the executor, you may be surprised to learn that you have been deemed worthy of such an important job. If you do not feel that you are capable of fulfilling your duties, you have the choice to decline the appointment. While many people feel honored to be trusted with the job of executor, others feel that they are not up to the challenges being the executor of a will can bring. If you decide that you can handle the job, you need to know the responsibilities that an executor faces.

Decide if Probating the Will is Necessary

Many assets that a person leaves in their will can be transferred to the correct beneficiaries without the need for probating the will. All real estate that is jointly held, bank accounts that are jointly held, and policies that have a named beneficiary upon death can be transferred easily without going into court. If the assets are clear and any liabilities paid off, you can get through the job of executor by following the will and giving assets to the beneficiaries in the will.

Consider Hiring a Lawyer

If you aren't sure where to begin because the estate is complex, it will be in your best interest to work with a qualified lawyer in your area. The lawyer will be paid out of any assets held by the estate, and they will ensure that the job of executor is done properly. If there are considerable assets in the estate or if you believe there will be a dispute among potential inheritors, it's important to get a lawyer working on the case. Contact one like David R Webb Attorney to get started.

The Tasks of an Executor

Your job is to find all of the assets and the liabilities, file the will in court, and notify all of the beneficiaries. You must establish an estate bank account, and all assets that are owed to the deceased will be placed in this account. You are responsible for notifying banks, agencies, mortgage companies, and more of the death. You will pay any current bills out of the estate, and you may be responsible for making the decision to sell any real estate or other personal belongings not specifically left to an individual.

You will also be responsible for filing taxes for the year the person passed away. While your responsibilities may be significant, you are entitled to compensation out of the estate for your services.