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What are the duties of an estate executor or administrator?

On Behalf of | Oct 3, 2023 | Estate Planning

You can designate someone to be your estate’s executor or administrator in your will. This person is responsible for completing tasks involving your estate, such as filing essential documentation and distributing your assets.

Naming someone for this role can be challenging because they should be able to organize paperwork and take on significant responsibilities after your death. When deciding who to designate as your estate’s executor, consider choosing a person who can perform the following duties:

  • Appearing whenever necessary during the probate process
  • Organizing debts and assets while preparing for administration or appraisals
  • Notifying beneficiaries of the will’s content
  • Accomplishing tax-related requirements
  • Consistently updating beneficiaries concerning the progress of the administration
  • Filing any paperwork relevant to surviving family members
  • Creating an inventory of assets and determining their value
  • Filing necessary tax returns, waivers or disclaimers
  • Covering any fees or tax payments
  • Distribution of properties and special endowments
  • Completing any other requirements needed to close the process
  • Distributing any residual balance of the estate based on accounting

These tasks might sound simple, but they can be more complex, depending on the estate’s size and property types. The executor may also find it challenging to complete duties correctly if they fail to prepare prerequisites for each stage of the process. They must also remember the deadline for each document and submission. If they fail to meet these timelines, it could affect the process’s length overall.

Choosing an executor or administrator

Some people already have a person in mind to be their estate’s executor. If you do not indicate a person for the role, state law can force the court to appoint someone. Still, your beneficiaries can challenge this decision if they believe the chosen individual is unfit for the role. Including an executor designation in your will could be ideal to prevent disputes among your rightful heirs and beneficiaries.

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