One of the critical decisions you must make during the estate planning process is choosing an executor for your estate. However, you may not know exactly what an executor does.
This guide will help you understand the primary role of the executor.
What the executor does
The executor or executrix probates your will, arranges payments for your estate’s debts, identifies assets that pass by will, and distributes your estate to your beneficiaries. In addition to these essential functions, the executor may have other responsibilities.
The executor is usually responsible for making funeral and burial arrangements. The executor needs to know what the deceased person’s wishes were and must pay for funeral-related expenses. The executor also must locate the will and make probate arrangements. Finally, the executor must distribute the estate and prepare the accounting and family settlement agreement.
Being the executor or executrix of an estate involves various administrative tasks that most everyday people are not that familiar with. Because of this, it can often be helpful for the executor to work with an estate attorney to ensure that they dispose of the estate properly. Both attorney and executor fees are deductible for inheritance tax purposes.
Executors have many responsibilities to the estate that may not be immediately obvious. For this reason, it is a good idea to choose your executor early in your estate planning process so that whomever you choose can get familiar with the process and the responsibilities involved.