Though we’ve all heard the term, most of us have probably never appointed an Executor or been an Executor for somebody else. Therefore, you may be wondering “What is an Executor ”, “What exactly does an Executor do?” and “What’s this Probate thing all about?”
If you die owning property of value, it is necessary to appoint someone to “settle” or wind up your estate in accordance with the terms of your Last Will and Testament. Your Last Will should nominate a person known as an Executor, or Personal Representative, to carry out this role. If you have not made a valid Last Will or where there is a partial intestacy this person will be appointed by the Probate Court and will be known as the Administrator of your estate.
Your Executor can be a person (or persons) such as a relative, beneficiary under your Last Will, a lawyer or even a bank – the choice is yours. It is also possible to appoint one or more Executors under your Last Will. Where more than one Executor is appointed, these Co-Executors can act separately (each one with full authority) or they can be required to act jointly in which case both (or all if there is more than two) executors must agree to a course of action before taking that action.
Upon your death, your Executor will have the legal and fiduciary duty to handle, safeguard and distribute your property in accordance with the terms of your Last Will. In addition, the Executor will also be responsible for the payment of any debts or taxes owing by you at the date of your death. These debts and taxes, if any, will be paid from the estate (using the assets of the estate) before the distribution of the remainder of the estate to the beneficiaries named under your will takes place.
How Can EstateBee Help You?
For more information on executor duties, read some of the other articles on executors, executor duties and probate on this website.
For more information on probating an estate, check out our book entitled How to Probate an Estate– A Step-By-Step Guide for Executors. It explores the process from the moment the deceased passes away right through to the distribution of assets. Items such as death certificates, autopsies, funeral planning and asset management are discussed at length. It will also show you how to initiate and close probate with ease, learn how to locate and manage estate assets, deal with creditors’ claims, taxes, and trusts, avoid the common mistakes made by many executors and much more….
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