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The roles and responsibilities of an executor

It isn't uncommon for a parent to name one of their children or another responsible party as the executor of their estate. In cases such as these, this individual is the representative of their assets and heirs.

Under some circumstances, this role could be considerably complex and encompass many years depending on what's involved with the estate. If you've been named, don't worry, executors receive a commission or "stipend" from the estate as payment for the work they complete.

What is the role of the executor?

While the executor is often a family member or close family friend, there are some instances in which it might be a financial institution. If an individual needs assistance, a financial institution may also serve as a co-executor. The executor basically serves four roles:

  • Finds assets and collects them, and, until beneficiaries receive them, they're responsible for them.
  • Administers expenses from estate, including decedent's debts and funeral expenses.
  • Handles the payment of the decedent's final tax payments.
  • Ensures final assets are distributed accordingly as outlined in the will.

What are the responsibilities of the executor?

When a decision is necessary in accordance with the will by the executor, it is referred to as an election. These provisions include making impartial decisions regarding how each beneficiary could become directly financially impacted. Often, an investment advisor is called in to contribute to the making of these decisions. Immediately after being appointed as executor, the individual is appointed throughout the probate process. At that point, they can represent the estate in a third party manner to liquidate assets and handle financial affairs.

Have you been appointed as an executor?

Conover & Grebe, LLP provides assistance to individuals who have been named as an executor and can offer advice as needed. If you've been appointed as an executor and have questions about probate, the distribution of assets, acting as a third party representative, or any of the other roles and responsibilities served by an executor, calling on the services of an attorney is essential.

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