While some of us have gone through it and understand the role of executor, those of us who have not may be wondering what the job entails. Here are some basic bullet points of information about the role of executor to help put things into perspective.
The role of executor
- In a nutshell, an executor is the individual identified in a will to carry out the final wishes of a deceased friend or family member. The executor has no duties before a death has occurred.
- The executor typically files the will in probate court; locates, inventories and protects the assets of the estate; notifies the beneficiaries and pays any debts left by the estate, including taxes.
- The executor will also use funds from the estate to pay for funeral and burial expenses.
- It is also up to the executor to distribute the deceased’s property to the beneficiaries, once all debts have been paid and with the approval of the court.
- An executor will set up a bank account for the estate to deposit incoming funds and pay outstanding bills.
- The role of executor will include multiple day-to-day details — such as terminating leases and credit cards and notifying banks and other agencies of the death — until the entire estate has been liquidated.
Assistance is available
As executor, it is your fiduciary duty to act in good faith and complete honesty on behalf of the deceased individual. While it’s a large and serious undertaking, there is help available to guide you through the entire process. Estate attorneys, estate liquidation experts and experienced Realtors can all be of assistance. Please don’t hesitate to ask for help if you’re feeling overwhelmed or encounter any questions or concerns along the way.
While the role of executor is a lot of work, you should wear the executor label like a badge of honor. After all, you are fulfilling the final wishes for an individual who is no longer with us.
If you find yourself in the role of executor and need help with preparing a house for sale, please reach out to us at 716-880-4442 or [email protected].