It is important to fully understand executor duties, both when you are naming an executor when creating a will or if you have been named as executor of a will. The job of serving as executor of an estate is actually a pretty big job with some possible legal consequences for executors who fail in fulfilling their role. Choosing an executor, and agreeing to fulfill that role, is not something to be taken lightly.
The Law Office of Michael Robinson, P.C. can provide assistance. Our legal team will offer guidance during the estate planning process on making a will and selecting someone you trust to serve as executor of an estate
We also offer representation and assistance to those who have been chosen as executor of an estate. We can take care of the technical legal processes for you to make probating a will as easy as possible. We can also explain the full list of executor duties so you will know what to expect.
List of Executor Duties
The specific duties of an executor of a will are going to be determined based on different factors like who stands to inherit from a will and what kind of property was owned by the deceased. However, some of the tasks which are commonly found on a list of executor duties include:
- Filing for probate in the court in the county where the deceased person lived.
- Providing notice to beneficiaries or heirs, as well as to creditors who may have a claim against the estate.
- Determining if there are any outstanding debts which are owed to the estate.
- Inventorying the assets which the deceased person owned and which will become a part of the probate estate.
- Obtaining any necessary appraisals or valuations of property which is a part of the estate.
- Obtaining, if necessary, a tax ID number for the estate and filing all required state and federal tax returns.
- Obtaining and presenting for probate a legally valid last will and testament which the deceased person left behind.
- Managing all property which was owned by the deceased person and which has become part of the estate. This includes paying all required bills and taking all hands-on steps necessary to protect the value and integrity of estate assets.
- Defending the will from any potential challenges.
While these are tasks assigned to the executor, the executor should not be doing them alone. A person who has been named as executor of an estate should call a lawyer right away.
The Law Office of Michael Robinson, P.C. helps to fulfill these duties and to comply with all other requirements imposed upon executors during the probate process. To find out more about the ways in which we can help executors honor the wishes of the deceased and wind up the affairs of the estate, give us a call today.
What if an Executor Does not Fulfill the Executor Duties?
An executor is a fiduciary.This means the executor owes the highest duty under the law. If an executor fails to fulfill obligations, he or she could face consequences. For example, if an executor of an estate was suspected of improperly enriching himself at the expense of the estate, heirs or beneficiaries could pursue a civil claim to recover money that should be a part of their inheritance and that was lost due to the actions of the executor.
The court may also remove a person who is supposed to be fulfilling the role of executor of a will but who is not doing this properly. Heirs or beneficiaries can petition to have the executor removed and the court will make an assessment about whether the executor is fit to continue serving in this important role. If the executor is found to be unable to continue, the court can appoint an estate administrator or a personal representative to take over the responsibility of overseeing the probate process.
Getting Help from A Rochester Probate Lawyer
The Law Office of Michael Robinson, P.C. can work with those chosen as executor of an estate in order to make certain they fulfill their executor duties. We will give you the help that you need to protect the wishes of the deceased and to honor the person who has died by fulfilling your duty as executor. We can also assist during the estate planning process in selecting someone who is up to the role. Give us a call at 585-374-5210 or contact us online to speak with a Rochester probate lawyer to find out more.