Originally posted on 01/11/2017
The emotional toils of dealing with the death of a loved one can be considerably difficult. Nevertheless, perseverance is paramount; especially if you are appointed to be an executor to one’s estate. Depending on your circumstances, it may be difficult to understand (or perform) what is expected of an executor.
As such, this post will detail some of the basic duties and expectations of an executor.
Determining if Probate Court is Necessary
Depending on the type of estate and the assets in it, this decision may already be made. After all, small estates may be “probated” administratively; meaning that a few forms will need to be completed as opposed to going through an exhaustive court process to determine who is legally entitled to assets. If the estate in question is larger or you are unsure of its status, make sure to check with your local government to see if any documents have been filed. An experienced attorney can help you check the status of legal documents.
Locating People Who Were Named in the Will
It may be that people named in the will may not know that they stand to inherit property. These people may not have been in contact with the deceased for quite some time. The executor may be tasked with locating them. The executor can take this search on personally or hire process servers to locate the people listed in the will to deliver their legal documents.
Finding Assets to be Distributed
Even when a person dies with a will, all of their assets may not be obviously known. An executor may also need to do some investigating to find and recover such assets. Organizing these assets may be the most time-consuming part of the executor's responsibilities.
Maintaining Property Before its Distribution
Once the executor finds and organizes the assets of the deceased, their job isn't over. Prior to distribution, the executor must also ensure that property included in the estate is not damaged or disposed of. The executor will need to procure a holding location to keep all the assets safe.
Partner with Aldrich Legal Services to Ensure Your Wishes are Respected
Indeed, these tasks may seem daunting. The steps above should help you understand just how complex an executor's responsibilities are. Don't worry, an experienced estate administration attorney can help. The experienced attorneys at Aldrich Legal Services can help you set up your will and plan for who will cover your executor role. Call our team today.