When a person passes away and leaves a will, the process of administering their estate and distributing their assets to their beneficiaries is overseen by a court. The person responsible for managing the estate and ensuring that the deceased person’s wishes are carried out is called the executor or executrix of the will.
The executor is typically named in the will and appointed by the court during the probate process. If the will does not name an executor or the named executor is unable or unwilling to serve, the court will appoint a successor executor, if one has been named in the will. If the will does not name an successor executor or the named successor executor is unable or unwilling to serve, court will appoint an administrator to manage the estate.
What does executor do? What does an administrator do?
The executor or administrator is responsible for a variety of tasks, including:
- Filing the will with the court: The executor or administrator must file the original will with the court in the county where the deceased person lived.
- Notifying beneficiaries and heirs: The executor or administrator must notify all interested parties of the probate proceedings and provide information about how they can participate in the process.
- Identifying and valuing assets: The executor or administrator must identify and value all assets in the estate, including bank accounts, investments, real estate, and personal property.
- Paying debts and taxes: The executor or administrator must pay all outstanding debts and taxes owed by the estate.
- Distributing assets: After all debts and taxes are paid, the executor or administrator can distribute the remaining assets to the beneficiaries named in the will or according to state law if there is no will.
What are the responsibilities of an executor?
The executor or administrator must act in the best interests of the beneficiaries and heirs and follow the instructions laid out in the will or state law. They may also be required to provide regular updates to the court and interested parties about the status of the estate.
In summary, the executor of a will is responsible for managing the estate and ensuring that the deceased person’s wishes are carried out. If there is no named executor or the named executor is unable or unwilling to serve, the court will appoint an administrator. If you are named as an executor or administrator, it’s important to work with an experienced estate planning attorney to understand your responsibilities and ensure that the probate process is carried out smoothly and in accordance with the law.
If you are in the process of creating a will, it’s important to carefully consider who you name as your executor and successor executor. These individuals will be responsible for managing your estate and ensuring that your wishes are carried out after you pass away. Working with an experienced estate planning attorney can help you navigate this process and ensure that your estate is managed in accordance with your wishes. Contact our office today to discuss your options and take the first step toward protecting your legacy.
Contact Sheryll Law, P.C., for Your Probate and Estate Administration Needs
The estate planning and probate attorneys at Sheryll Law, P.C., can handle all your estate administration duties, beginning with inventorying the assets and ending with distributing property to the rightful beneficiaries. Our experienced legal team will ensure the estate is administered as seamlessly and stress-free as possible. Ready to secure your future and the future of your loved ones? Contact us at (631) 518-3093 or fill out our online form to schedule a consultation.
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The information in this blog post (“post”) is provided for general informational purposes only and may not reflect the current law in your jurisdiction. No information in this post should be construed as legal advice from the individual author or the law firm, nor is it intended to be a substitute for legal counsel on any subject matter. No reader of this post should act or refrain from acting based on any information included in or accessible through this post without seeking the appropriate legal or other professional advice on the particular facts and circumstances at issue from a lawyer licensed in the recipient’s state, country or other appropriate licensing jurisdiction.