It is important for an executor to pay close
attention to detail and engage in a careful, deliberative process. And remember that the best advice will come
from an experienced and knowledgeable estate planning attorney.
Scenario: You’ve been named the
executor of a loved one’s will. You feel
honored to be selected, but then the reality of it all hits you – what
responsibilities are entailed in this role?
To take on the role of executor
is to take on several important duties, and sometimes liabilities as well. Whether
you are a newly named executor or are selecting an executor as part of your
estate planning, the role of executor requires in-depth understanding.
None other than Forbes recently took up this important
issue with an article titled “Understanding the Role and Responsibilities
of an Executor.” In effect, the executor (also known as the “personal representative”) is the named agent of the deceased, tasked with carrying out their will and tying up all of the
legal and fiscal loose ends of life. Even a simple estate typically requires
filing the will in probate and distributing assets appropriately to creditors
and beneficiaries alike.
As you might imagine, when there is an inheritance in play a messy trifecta of courts, creditors, and family drama isn’t far behind. Depending on the nature and number of creditors, the
family dynamics, and even the kinds of assets involved, things can get
When facing the challenge of becoming an executor (or selecting your own), it certainly helps to have the assistance and counsel of a professional. Be sure to secure the services of
competent legal counsel sooner rather than later.
Reference: Forbes (February 14, 2013) “Understanding the Role and Responsibilities
of an Executor”