What is an executor? What does this person do? What are the responsibilities? An executor is entrusted with the disposition of an estate’s property, assets and possessions. What it all boils down to is that you are responsible for making sure that all debts are paid, all creditors are satisfied and that any remaining assets and property are distributed to the heirs according to the will that the decedent wrote. While the law doesn’t say that an executor has to be an attorney at law, or even have business acumen, the law does say that the executor has to be diligent and honest in their dealings with regard to the estate.
The executor is allowed to be paid a fee according to the difficulty of administering this estate or will. Some of the tasks can cause an emotional reaction from the heirs that are listed in the will. First of all, you have to find the assets. Most people have a lock box or a special place they keep all the documentation regarding the estate plans and will. Sharing this information with the executor will certainly allow for a smoother distribution.
The executor keeps all assets safe and sound until they can be distributed according to the will left behind. Part of the responsibility is deciding what part of the estate will be liquidated and what part will simply pass to an heir. The will may need to be probated. Probating, while it can be lengthy, may behoove the executor because it means that the court will decide who gets what according to the will. The last part of being an executor is to actually find the heirs to whom the property is being left.
Calling in a legal professional if you are an executor or if you have a will in place and need an executor can be a good thing. This person will have plenty of experience and will ensure that your wishes are adhered to.