Appointing an executor for your estate plan is crucial. You need to name a reliable executor – someone you trust, be it a family member or a close friend.
It may help to have more than one – a primary and an alternate. The latter will perform the duties of the primary executor should they be unable to accomplish them when the time comes.
Here are seven duties of an executor.
1. Ensure your wishes are fulfilled
The main role of an executor is to ensure your wishes are fulfilled. They will locate the will and read it to understand your wishes.
2. Submit will to the probate court
After locating and understanding the will, the executor will submit it to the probate court for validation.
3. Inform interested parties
Executors are responsible for sending a notice of death to interested parties, including heirs, beneficiaries, social security administration, creditors and banks.
Further, they will send a notice of administration to probate to heirs and beneficiaries. The executor will keep them updated on the process.
4. Valuing the estate
An executor is required to do an estate valuation of assets and debts. They will then preserve the estate, awaiting distribution.
5. Filing inventory with the court
After valuing the estate, the executor will file an inventory of assets with the probate court. Not all assets fall under probate. A professional can help them determine this.
6. Pay estate debts
The executor will reach out to creditors and pay debts on the estate. While doing this, they will also pay bills and taxes and file any outstanding tax returns.
7. Distribute assets
Finally, the executor will distribute assets, report to the court and close the estate.
The right executor can make your estate plan protect your loved ones as you intended. It will help to get professional guidance to make informed decisions.