When a loved one creates a will you may end up having a conversation you didn’t expect. They may just ask you to be the executor of their will. It’s a situation that most people find themselves in at some point in life, usually after getting married or as aging parents enter their senior years.
Often people take on the responsibility without fully understanding the role of an executor. It’s a job that can take months (or years) to complete, and there’s a lot of pressure given that you are carrying out a loved one’s last wishes.
The Executor of a will Has to Handle a Lot of Paperwork
From reviewing the will to filing taxes, being an executor involves handling a lot of paperwork. The role often involves hours of filling out documents and filing them with the appropriate business or government agency. Think of it this way. An executor is an administrator of the estate. That means until the will is carried out, the executor is in charge of all the deceased’s unresolved affairs and managing their assets.
The Executor May Have to Represent the Estate in Court
There’s a chance the executor will need to represent the estate in court at some point in the process. One thing the executor will need to do in most states is create an itemized list of assets in the estate for the probate court.
You might end up in probate court if no executor was named on a will and a judge determines you are the best person for the job.
Being the Executor of a will Involves a Lot of Financial Matters
An executor of a will has to handle a lot of tasks that involve money. And it’s the deceased’s money, so you have to be very careful with the financial management aspect of being the executor of a will. Here’s just a short list of things the executor is usually in charge of:
- Making sure all burial, cremation and/or funeral fees are paid.
- Filing the deceased taxes.
- Working with creditors to pay debts.
- Paying estate expenses.
- Setting up bank accounts for paying debts and holding incoming funds.
- Making sure assets are distributed appropriately.
The last item is solely dictated by the will. The executor just has to ensure that the benefactor indeed takes possession of the asset.
An Executor May Have to Take Care of the Deceased’s Property
It can take a lot of time for a will to be carried out and for the property to transfer to the appropriate benefactor. During that time the property needs to be secured and maintained. That responsibility goes to the executor.
Maintaining the deceased’s property can involve keeping the utilities on at their home, upkeep the lawn care and storing items among other things.
The Executor Has to Dispose of Property
After all debts have been paid and all benefactors have received their inheritance there may be property left over that wasn’t included in the will or the benefactor didn’t want. When that occurs the executor of a will takes possession of the property and it’s up to them to dispose of it.
It may seem like a lot of work because it can be. Being an executor of a will can require a lot of time, energy and effort. Fortunately, the estate will pay for related expenses, and you can get an executor fee from the estate that compensates you for the time it takes to serve as the executor.
Direct Cremate works directly with the family and executor of the will to ensure the deceased’s wishes are honored. If you have any questions, you can send us an email, text or call any day of the week.