There are many formalities in making a will, which one has to follow to make it legal. And one such formality is appointing an executor for administration of the property. An executor is a person who is nominated by the deceased for carrying out the administration of all his property and assets.
The maker of the will mentions the executor's name in the will. The executor is also sometimes referred to as an administrator of the last will and testament.
If the will was not made when the deceased person was alive, then the court has to take the responsibility of appointing an executor for property administration and distribution. The responsibilities that this person has to handle depend largely on how big the property is.
More the possessions and property of the deceased, harder and more complex will be the executor duties. Some important responsibilities may even be mentioned in the will at the time of preparation.
Responsibilities and Duties
Making Arrangements for the Funeral
The first and foremost responsibility of an executor is to make preparations for the funeral. He has to see to it that the body of the deceased is properly taken to the funeral home. He has to obtain the death certificate and arrange for the memorial service. He also has to look after the requirements that are needed for and during the funeral service.
Handle the Probate Formalities
A probate declares that the will is legalized and its executor is formally responsible for carrying out his functions. This process involves filing a copy of the will in the court of law. He may take legal assistance from an attorney for doing the formalities. He also has to announce the death of the deceased in local newspapers.
Reading of the Will
One of the most significant responsibilities is to oversee the reading of the will. If there are many beneficiaries, the executor is supposed to get in touch with all of them and inform them about the reading. The executor has to make sure that the will is read out in the presence of all the beneficiaries.
Keeping and Gathering Records of the Property
Since the executor is the only person responsible for the handling of the property, he will have to keep detailed records of the entire real estate and possessions. If the beneficiaries ask for the details and reports, he has to provide them with the same. Along with the property records, he also has to keep a track of the financial accounts.
Paying Off All Debts and Taxes
Before the real estate and possessions can be distributed, the executor is required to pay off all debt and liability. This also includes expenses and fees of estate administration, attorney fees, real estate appraisal charges, fees of accountants, etc.
He will also need to deactivate and cancel the deceased person's health insurance, social security payments, car and home insurance, credit cards, and other financial utilities.
Property and Possessions Distribution
Now comes the most important part of making a will; that is distributing the property, real estate, and possessions according to as stated in the will. The executor of will may approach an attorney for carrying out the distribution of the property and possessions.
These are some general executor responsibilities that are to be followed. Remember that performing the duties in the executor checklist can be really difficult, and may even take years in property settlement.