Once a Will is drafted, most people believe they are legally prepared for passing. But there is another important step. An Executor to the Will must be chosen. This person is responsible for many duties, including executing the last wishes of the decedent, taking care of the probate process and distributing the assets to the heirs. The probate process can become very confusing. If an Executor is unprepared or provides the Court inaccurate or incomplete information, the probate process could drag on, leaving heirs waiting. It is incredibly important to choose a knowledgeable and responsible Executor.

Executors have many legal responsibilities. Once a person has passed, the Executor must file paperwork with the Probate Court, and notify the interested parties. The Executor must also file appropriate tax returns. The Executor needs to take inventory of the deceased’s assets. The deceased’s assets are numerous, and may include bank accounts, retirement plans, personal items and properties. Once this elaborate task is completed, the Executor must show proof to the probate court that all maters have been handled correctly.

After the Estate is declared closed by a Probate Court, the Executor may finally distribute assets to named beneficiaries. This seems like the easy part of the process, but like everything else the Executor does, it can come with a numerous issues. The Executor may need to settle arguments between heirs. In this very emotional time, it is important for Executors to remain fair and impartial.

When it comes time to choose an Executor, keep in mind all of the responsibilities. Executors can’t complete all the tasks on their own, and should hire a competent Probate Attorney for help. Family and friends are trustworthy, but they don’t always have the time or competence to handle unexpected responsibilities that come with being an Executor. If you are unsure of who to choose as an Executor, remember there are professionals who can handle these matters.