When a person passes away, it is the responsibility of the executor of their estate to ensure that their wishes are carried out. An executor is responsible for a variety of tasks, from paying bills and debts to filing taxes and distributing assets. It is important to understand the duties of an executor before naming one in your will. The executor must first formally request the court to open an inheritance and grant them letters of will.
This gives them the legal authority to act on behalf of the deceased. Depending on the size of the estate, if there is more than one executor, they may need to share commissions. The executor must also consult with appropriate professionals when necessary to determine the legitimacy of an invoice or debt, and use estate funds to pay for funeral and burial expenses. They are also responsible for ensuring that income and wealth tax returns are prepared and filed by the appropriate professional.
If there are any doubts about the applicability of agreements or the terms of the will, it is their responsibility to take the matter before a judge and let them decide. The executor must also notify all interested parties (heirs, creditors and immediate family members) of the probate procedure. They should also keep a record of the financial concerns of the estate and any expenses incurred as part of their role as executor. Since major estates often have to make complex tax choices on an estate's tax returns, it is very important that the executor enlists competent professional help.
The executor is also responsible for paying all of the decedent's outstanding income taxes and arranging for the preparation of their final income and gift tax return. If the decedent has made any promises or agreements during their lifetime, the executor must also determine if these obligations are binding and, if so, must ensure that the estate complies. If you are looking to name an executor in your will, make sure you choose someone you trust, as they will oversee all estate planning and the management of your finances after you have died.