An executor of an estate is a person appointed to administer the last will of a deceased person. Their principal duty is to carry out the instructions to manage the affairs and wishes of the deceased. The executor is appointed by the testator of the will (the person making the will) or by a court, in cases where there has been no prior appointment. When making a will, it is essential to name someone to act as your executor, also known as a personal representative in some states.
So, who is an executor? The executor is the individual who will be responsible for your estate after your death. They will collect your assets and keep them safe, pay debts and taxes, and distribute your assets according to the terms of your will. An executor is the person or entity designated in a will to administer the deceased person's estate as indicated in the will. The executor's responsibilities include settling the estate's debts, selling ownership of the estate if necessary, and distributing the assets to the heirs and beneficiaries in accordance with the will. It is important to understand that an executor has a legal obligation to ensure that the terms of the will are followed and that the deceased person's affairs are terminated.
This includes preparing and filing a federal or state estate tax return (or possibly both). When naming an executor in their will, they also have the option of including a backup executor in case the principal executor is unable or unwilling to assume the role. If you are appointed executor or plan to accept that appointment, it is essential that you understand your duties and limitations, as you are handling confidential information from a loved one's estate. The executor's payment comes out of the estate, which decreases the amount that remains to be transferred to the beneficiaries. The executor of a will is a person chosen by the deceased and appointed by law to oversee the collection of assets, settlement of debts, and distribution of belongings to heirs.
During this process, which can take anywhere from a few months to several years depending on the size and complexity of the estate, they are responsible for investing and managing assets, taking care of administration of any real estate or cooperative apartment, understanding taxes owed, and filing income tax returns for any income earned from the estate during administration. Unless specified otherwise in their will, an executor must file a bond if they are not a resident of New York State, are not responsible enough, or are obligated to own, manage, or invest real or personal property for another person. Although an executor is not legally required to obtain legal assistance to legalize their will, it would be advisable to do so. If you disagree with how an executor handles an estate, you can respond to a Notice of Proposed Action or ask a court for an order that prevents them from taking specific action. The executor's task is to fulfill the final wishes of the deceased person as stated in their last will and testament. Since complex tax choices often have to be made on an estate's tax returns in major estates, it is very important that they enlist competent professional help. Your duties and responsibilities as an executor will not come into play until after the testator's death.