Your loved one may have chosen you as the executor of their will, and you may be uncertain about what the role entails. Given the responsibility on your shoulders, it helps to understand what is expected of you and what you can do to ensure that your loved one’s final wishes are implemented.
As the executor of the will, you will be responsible for managing the estate assets before distributing them to the beneficiaries. Some of your responsibilities include:
- Locating the will and presenting it in court
- Identifying and appraising the estate assets
- Settling outstanding claims to the estate, such as pending taxes or debts
- Representing the estate in court
- Distributing estate assets to the heirs according to the will’s instructions
In short, you will be in charge of all estate affairs until the estate is closed. It means that you will also be answerable should things go wrong.
You owe the beneficiaries a fiduciary duty
You have a legal obligation to handle estate assets in the beneficiaries’ best interests. Therefore, all your transactions and dealing with the estate assets must be in good faith. Otherwise, you risk facing legal and financial penalties due to a breach of fiduciary duty.
Getting everything right
Whether probate will be a smooth process rests partly on the executor and how they discharge their duties. In addition, your loved one chose you because they believed you would deliver when the time came.
As such, you cannot afford to make mistakes that may derail the entire process or harm the estate and its beneficiaries. Should you need clarification on your executor duties or encounter any problems, it is advisable to reach out for legal help as soon as possible.