What are the Duties of Your Executor?
By drafting a will, you are leaving specific instructions regarding what will happen to the money, property, and assets you’ve acquired over the course of your life. You have the opportunity to divide your estate in any way you choose, benefiting the people, and perhaps organization, you care about. The only catch is that you won’t be around to ensure that your instructions are followed. Instead, you appoint a person whom you trust as your executor.
The executor’s main job is to ensure that the terms of your will are followed. If you have left specific instructions about what money or assets should go where and when, the executor is the person who will see it through.
The first part of the executor’s job is to determine what you own and what you owe. The executor will take inventory of what money and property you owned at the time of your death, and will then use a portion of your estate to pay off any remaining debts in your name.
If you own jewelry, artwork, or rare items of value, it is the executor’s responsibility to keep them safe and to determine their worth. In some cases, the executor will hire professional appraisers to place a value on specific items or collections, and ultimately determine the value of the entire estate.
Probate laws vary by jurisdiction, and most probate courts have an established maximum estate value that can be distributed without consulting the court. If your estate is worth more than that maximum value, your executor will have to navigate probate, or hire an attorney to assist in the process.
Once your executor has fulfilled these responsibilities, his or her final job is to ensure that your estate is distributed to your beneficiaries. The executor will supervise the distribution of property and money, and once that is complete, so is the job of the executor.
Contact the experienced estate lawyers at Posternock Apell, PC to learn more about how we can help make sense of an often frustrating and complex process.