The executor is a person appointed by law to settle the decedent's affairs and to comply with the terms of the decedent's will. This individual is responsible for paying all invoices and taxes of the deceased, protecting estate assets, making distributions of property to beneficiaries, and paying debts and estate taxes. In some states, the executor is referred to as a personal representative. The role of an executor in estate planning involves multiple functions.
They must offer the will for probate, take steps to protect estate assets, make distributions of property to beneficiaries, and pay debts and estate taxes. If an executor mismanages estate funds and this results in a loss for beneficiaries, they may be held personally liable. Therefore, it is important to know that a person named executor has the right to refuse the position. Most executors are members of the immediate family, such as spouses, children, or parents.
After the probate case is opened, they will be responsible for notifying all beneficiaries, heirs and creditors of the probate case. The executor must also file the will with the county probate court and submit a detailed inventory of the estate's assets. The executor plays a very important role after the death of the testator (the person to whom the will refers), including tasks such as tracking assets, paying creditors and ensuring that the beneficiaries named in the will receive their inheritance. The executor may also be required to periodically submit documents, known as accounting, that track the financial activity of the estate. Once the deadline for creditors' claims has passed, the estate has paid all legitimate debts, tax returns have been filed, and any dispute has been resolved, the executor can be ready to formally close the estate.
The transfer of any property should be made only once they are sure that the estate can pay all of its legitimate debts and taxes. One of the biggest drawbacks of being an executor is the large amount of time it takes to properly manage responsibilities. Your duties and responsibilities as executor will not come into play until after the testator's death. By consulting with appropriate professionals when necessary to determine the legitimacy of an invoice or debt, you can ensure that all bills and debts owed by the deceased are paid with funds found in the estate.