What does an Executor do?

Q: What do I have to do if I am Executor of the estate for my parent, spouse, or sibling?

A: Being an executor can be a big job, depending on the assets in the estate and the family dynamics. This is a general list of the tasks required.  [Read more…]

The Job of Executor

Many people think that the job of being an executor for a friend or family member is more an honor than it is real work. Not true. The job can be very difficult, time-consuming and can strain relations with beneficiaries.

Choose your executor carefully. If you choose an individual, that person should have some business, legal or financial experience. They should be detail-oriented and have time available to spend on the job. If you don’t have a friend or family member who meets this description, it may be best to choose a corporate executor, such as a bank or trust company. A corporate executor will charge a fee but will do a careful and professional job and relieve your friends and family members of the responsibility.  [Read more…]

Who should I name to be Executor?

Q: Who should I name to be Executor of my Will?

A:  Choosing an Executor is one of the most important decisions you make when you plan your estate. When you name someone as Executor you are giving them a job with substantial responsibilities, not just an honorary title. Being Executor can be time-consuming and difficult, and holds the potential of personal liability for mistakes made.

The Executor is responsible for carrying out the administration of the estate, filing necessary documents in Probate Court, collecting the assets of the deceased, paying debts, distributing the assets as directed by the Will, and filing any necessary tax returns. The job can last 9 to 12 months if there are no problems. In a complex estate with assets that may be hard to manage or sell or where family relationships complicate the administration, the executor’s job can last for several years. The Executor can be held personally liable for mistakes such as distributing all the assets before the taxes are paid.  [Read more…]