Unfortunately, the death of a loved one sometimes comes as a shock. Many people are unprepared for such a change in their life. Even with a Will in place, the probate process and the responsibility of those who distribute the belongings can be chaotic and cause discourse within the family. This process can become more complicated if there is no Will in place to help the courts and family determine who will oversee the estate of the deceased, and who receives what in the event of a passing.
Typically when someone draws up a Will, they appoint a person they trust to oversee the distribution of their assets. These assets could include money, their home, the property within their home, life insurance policies, and etc. The person appointed to gather and distribute the estate is called an executor. Normally this person is someone trusted by the family, and that may be a skilled estate planning lawyer Arlington TX trusts instead of a relative.
Roles and duties: Following are some of the duties an executor:
- Giving notice to each beneficiary named in the Will whose identity and location you or the courts know of
- Giving notice to creditors and identifying debts
- Performing an inventory of all assets of the person who died and submitting that inventory to the court
- Managing and overseeing the assets of those that have passed
- Paying the remaining taxes that the deceased owes
- If the Will states the beneficiaries and what they are to receive then the executor must distribute all articles and property to the appropriate people
- Closing the estate
The role of an executor is very important. It is a role of great responsibility that if mismanaged may result in court action. It is very important that an executor respects the devices in the Will and performs all duties stated by the deceased despite contract beliefs of the executor.
Who should be an executor? It is important that the person you entrust to oversee your assets is someone you know will be fair and respect your wishes to the fullest. Look for someone that you trust and if you have doubts you can always appoint an attorney to be your executor.
Thanks to our friends and contributors from the Brandy Austin Law Firm PLLC for their insight into estate planning practice.