What is an Executor supposed to do?
If you are an Executor appointed in somebody’s Will, you will likely need to take a few steps to handle the estate of the person who is deceased. Below are some of the basic duties of an Executor but generally, a probate attorney will help you with most of these tasks:
- Locate the Will and file it with an Application to Probate the Will and a Request for Letters Testamentary. Request a probate hearing date.
- Attend the probate hearing where you will sign a Proof of Death affidavit attesting to the facts of the decedent’s life, take and sign an Oath of Executor swearing to fulfill the terms of the Will, and order Letters Testamentary which will give you the legal authority to act on behalf of the estate of the decedent.
- Make a list of the decedent’s assets and liabilities; file an Inventory, Appraisement and List of Claims with the Court.
- Publish a Notice to Creditors in the local newspaper for any unknown creditors and send statutory Notices to Creditors for any known creditors.
- Determine whether creditor’s claims should be paid or rejected and take action accordingly.
- Send statutory Notices to Beneficiaries of the Will.
- File a final tax return and if necessary, an estate tax return.
- Once all creditors have been paid, the remaining assets of the estate are distributed according to the instructions in the Will. However, depending on your confidence in knowing all creditors have been paid, you may want to hold some funds back and distribute only after the statute of limitations have run for a creditor to make a claim and collect on it.
This is only a very basic list of tasks for an Executor for a very basic estate. There are generally other tasks as well. It is recommended, and required by most courts, that you obtain legal counsel to help with the probate process and you in your role as the Executor. The court costs and legal fees are paid from the estate so the Executor is not personally responsible for those expenses. If you need help with probate or your role as Executor, call the Law Office of Roy Neal Linnartz, PLLC for an appointment to discuss. (830) 625-9300