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What are the Responsibilities of an Executor?

Throughout their lifetime, people often plan for what will happen to their belongings when their life is over. This can be accomplished by creating an estate plan that allows the individual to designate their final wishes. In doing so, they often appoint a person to carry out these wishes. This person is known as an executor. The job of this individual is to ensure the estate plan is handled the way it was intended by the deceased. To do this, there are many tasks that need to be carried out. 

What is the Job of an Executor?

When the individual who created the estate plan passes away, their executor may begin their responsibilities. This involves several tasks to manage the assets within the estate. The first job of an executor is to bring the deceased’s will within their estate plan to the Surrogate Court in the county they lived. This allows the process of probate to begin in order to determine the will’s validity. It is important to know that if a beneficiary decides to contest the will and challenge its validity, the executor must clear up these issues.

If the document is approved, the next step for the executor is to handle any outstanding payments or taxes that must be paid off. They may benefit from contacting an attorney or accountant to ensure the payments are made correctly. Once this is completed, the individual can begin to distribute the assets within the estate to their designated beneficiaries. 

Choosing an Executor

When an individual is decided who to appoint as their executor, they should consider a few things. First, they should choose a person that can be trusted to handle the job. This person should be capable of acting in the best interest of the deceased and the estate. In addition to this, handling an estate is a large responsibility that can often become overwhelming. An executor should be a person who can be depended upon to do the job to their best ability.

It is important to know that an executor can be removed from their position. This may be the case if they are not doing their job properly or handling the estate negligently. In these situations, a motion can be filed with the court to remove the individual from the role of executor. A judge can then either approve or deny the motion. If it is approved, the individual will be removed and the judge can replace them with a new executor to complete any unfinished tasks. 

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