When someone dies, their estate goes through a process called probate. This process is important as it helps to ensure that a will is valid, and the deceased person’s debts get paid and their assets get distributed according to their wishes. This process is not easy, and that’s where executors come in.
Who is an executor?
An executor is a person who is appointed by the testator to manage their estate after they die. If the owner of the estate in question died without a will, the probate court will appoint an administrator. An executor can be a friend or relative of the testator, or they can be a professional, like a lawyer or accountant.
What does an executor do?
The first job of an executor is to present the will to the probate court. The executor will then need to gather all of the assets of the estate. This includes anything from bank accounts to real estate.
The executor also needs to notify the deceased person’s creditors, and pay off any debts that are owed. This includes things like credit cards, mortgages, and car loans. Once all of the debts get cleared, the executor can then start to distribute the assets of the estate to the beneficiaries.
Closing the estate
Once all of the assets get distributed, the executor needs to close the estate. This involves filing a final accounting with the court and making sure that all taxes get resolved. Once everything gets taken care of, the executor can then be released from their duties.
If there are disputes among the beneficiaries, the executor will need to mediate these disagreements. If they can’t get resolved, the executor may need to take the case to court in order to have them settled.