When a loved one wrote a last will and testament, they may have named you as executor of the estate. While you may feel honored to have that title, what exactly does an executor do?
When someone passes away, probate can take several months to resolve. Executors take care of the estate throughout the probate process. They play a vital role in ensuring that the deceased person’s assets go through the process correctly.
Executors take care of administrative matters
As an executor, you play a significant part in the probate process. Depending on the estate you help administer, you may run into complex problems or issues. These can threaten the assets left behind for inheritance. You must handle these problems in the best interests of the estate while following Kentucky law.
Submitting the will to the court
If someone named you as executor, you are likely already aware. Or you may receive a copy of a will naming you as the person responsible for administering the estate. Either way, you will start the process by submitting the will to a probate court.
Before starting the proceedings, the court will hold a hearing on whether or not the will is legitimate. Once they approve it, they will name an executor. Unless someone challenges the deceased person’s wishes, you will become the appointed administrator.
You take care of all administrative duties
Once the court names you executor, you then take on the role of managing the estate. You will gather up all property belonging to the deceased person. If there are valuables, you will find a way to store them. You are responsible for paying any taxes or bills for the assets. You also use the estate’s money to pay off any outstanding debts.
You will notify anyone who needs to know about the death
In addition to handling the money side, you will contact anyone who needs to know the person passed away. You will need to notify anyone listed in the will. You also cancel credit cards, subscriptions and inform the Social Security Administration.
Taking care of final processes
For your services, you will be able to compensate yourself from the estate. Once the probate process finishes, you show the judge how you have used the estate’s money for debts and taxes. You also make sure that each beneficiary receives their inheritance.
You will be responsible for an estate
As an executor, you become a temporary caretaker for a deceased person’s assets. While holding this responsibility can be an honor, it can also be complicated. You may need an attorney to help ensure you follow all necessary Kentucky probate laws.