The executor of an estate does not need to be a relative of the deceased. A designated person can be a relative, friend, or trusted advisor. In some cases, a financial institution or corporation may be qualified to serve. Before the first probate hearing, everyone who needs to be notified of the estate should receive a copy of the Notice of Petition to Manage Estate.
This document should include information about the date of the hearing and may also include the Petition to Manage the Estate with all its attachments. If there is no surviving spouse, then the court moves down the list to the children, then to the parents. It is important to note that the courts do not automatically appoint the elder brother as administrator. All children of a deceased person are on an equal footing. When the testator dies, the executor is called upon to organize the funeral, locate and file the will, settle estates, manage assets, settle debts, file tax returns, establish and manage any trust, respond to legal challenges, and more. Being an executor requires you to carry out the details of the will and comply with legal requirements. An executor is a person named in a will by a testator to be responsible for managing their estate after their death.
While one of their most important responsibilities is to distribute assets according to the terms of the will, there are a number of additional duties that must be completed before distributing assets. The executor must use the will as a guide while also complying with New York law. If you are appointed as executor of a loved one's estate, it is important to contact an attorney experienced in New York executor duties and responsibilities at the Law Offices of Stephen Bilkis & Associates. With more than two decades of experience representing clients in complex cases before the New York Surrogacy Court, they can help with the challenge of managing an estate. Even for creditors who filed their claims on time, the executor can only repay estate debt to the extent that there are assets in the estate. Once approved as executor, they will receive official confirmation (letters of will or administration) and can begin liquidating the estate.
This person is a government employee whose job is to distribute estates of county residents who die without a will or without an executor. The state may have a list that provides other instructions when such a situation arises, including a list of people eligible to become executor. After paying debts and expenses, they can distribute estate assets to beneficiaries named in the will. Probate court judges often have discretion in appointing an executor or administrator. Until assets are sold or distributed, it is important for them to continue paying bills such as utility bills, maintain insurance, ensure property security, and take care of general maintenance. One of their first tasks upon receiving letters is to take control of assets and assemble an inventory.
Executors may also need to attend court hearings if estate is in formal or supervised probate proceedings. Depending on complexity of estate, types of assets involved, and background of executor, they may need to pay reasonable fees to others for certain tasks. Most states require them to do everything possible to notify potential heirs and interested parties of death and intention to be executor. If no alternator or successor is named and principal executor is unable to act, several family members or other interested parties can ask court to take over duties. Failure by executor to properly manage estate may result in personal liability for any loss suffered by estate or beneficiaries due to breach of fiduciary duties. If you become executor without a will, you should know it is complex process. It is better to refuse honor for right reasons (inability to do job correctly) than assume it for wrong ones (sense of obligation).