What are the Responsibilities of an Executor?

People often create an estate plan throughout their life. This allows them to prepare for what will happen to their assets and treasured belongings after they pass away. In creating this plan, the individual must assign a person to carry out these plans when the time comes. This individual is known as an executor. An executor exists to ensure an estate plan is handled the way it was intended to by the deceased. This is an important job tasked with several different responsibilities.

What is the Job of an Executor?

When the individual who created the estate plan passes away, the executor may step forward and begin the responsibilities that their position entails. As an executor, the individual must manage the deceased’s estate and their assets. The first job of an executor is to bring the will within the estate plan to the court. This allows the process of probate to begin, where the court determines the validity of the will and approves it as such. Once this is complete, the executor must first handle any finances. This can include outstanding payments or taxes that must be paid off before moving forward. During this time, the individual may find it beneficial to enlist an experienced attorney or accountant to ensure the payments are made correctly.

When the executor completes these tasks, they can move on to one of the most important parts of handling an estate plan. This involves distributing all the assets within the estate to their rightful beneficiaries. Sometimes, there are cases in which a beneficiary may contest the will and its validity. If this happens, the executor is responsible for handling the situation and clearing up any issues.

Choosing an Executor

When an estate plan is created, it is important to appoint an individual that can be trusted as an executor. This is because the job is a large responsibility that should not be treated lightly. The chosen executor should be able to carry out the deceased’s final wishes to the best of their ability.

It is important to know that an executor can be removed from their position. This may be the case if they are found to not be doing their job properly. For example, if the individual is negligent in handling the estate or does not act in the deceased’s best interest. In these situations, a motion may be filed to have the individual removed from their role. When this happens, a judge can either approve or deny of the motion and assign a new executor to finish the job if necessary.

Contact our Firm

The attorneys at JD Katz have years of experience compassionately guiding clients in Maryland through the estate planning and administration process. Our firm also has experience with matters of elder law, business law, tax law, and litigation. For a legal team that will put your needs first, contact JD Katz today.