The executor (or personal representative) of a will has important responsibilities. The executor ensures that the deceased’s wishes are carried out, that the estate is probated properly, and that heirs inherit money and property as the deceased directed.
Being executor of a will can be very stressful, as your family member or loved one has just passed away and you are now legally responsible for making sure his wishes are carried out. Fortunately, you do not have to handle all the duties of an executor on your own. You can get comprehensive legal guidance and assistance from an experienced probate lawyer.
Parman & Easterday provides legal representation to executors. Our firm takes care of the court filings and paperwork, advises you on your obligations, and helps manage all the legal processes and steps associated with acting as an executor and facilitating the transfer of the assets. Give us a call as soon as you discover you have been named the executor of a will so we can get right to work on helping you.
What Does the Executor of a Will Do?
The responsibilities of an executor begin as soon as a death occurs, and those responsibilities will continue until the affairs of the estate have been wound up and all legal issues have been resolved. When probating a will, the executor is in charge of ensuring things go smoothly.
An executor is personally responsible for properly handling and settling the estate of the person who has passed away. If you are named as an executor and cannot handle this responsibility, you can decline and the court will appoint an administration. You should, however, try to do your best to carry out the wishes of the deceased. You can do this with the help of a lawyer who will guide you through the steps to be taken.
Some of the things you will need to do as an executor include:
- Providing notice of the death and probate proceedings to heirs and to creditors.
- Taking possession of the deceased person’s assets.
- Inventorying the assets that are part of the estate and taking necessary steps to preserve and protect their value.
- Managing any businesses or investments owned by the deceased that require active management.
- Determining the identities and contact information of heirs and next-of-kin of the person who passed away.
- Winding up and concluding any pending lawsuits in which the deceased person’s estate has an interest.
- Determining if state or federal inheritance taxes, estate taxes, or income taxes are owed.
- Preparing state and federal tax returns for the estate.
- Paying valid creditors claims out of the estate, and selling property if necessary to pay creditors, taxes, and other administrative costs.
- Transferring title of property to heirs according to the terms of the will.
- Distributing properties to the parties the deceased wished to inherit.
- Responding if the will is being contested to defend the will and argue that the deceased’s last wishes should be respected.
These are just some of the steps an executor may need to take. Because every situation is different, you will likely need assistance to take the steps appropriate to your situation.
How Can a Probate Lawyer Help the Executor of a Will?
A probate lawyer at Parman & Easterday can offer you advocacy, advice, and representation when you are named an executor of a will. Let us take care of the legal and technical issues for you so you can do your job for the deceased without becoming overwhelmed or making errors that could affect the rights of beneficiaries.
We take the stress out of serving as an executor by taking care of many of the duties for you so you can focus on your grief and on spending time with your loved ones after a death has occurred. Give us a call at (405) 294-6860, (913) 385-9400 or contact us online to learn more about the services we provide to those who are executors.