You might have heard the term “executor” when it comes to estates and estate planning. Maybe you were chosen as the executor of an estate yourself. However, that does not necessarily mean that you understand everything that is involved with being an executor. What is it that an executor must do in that role?
The executor’s role is multifaceted and it can be challenging at times. You may be wondering how much you will have to do for the estate and if you are up to the task.
First, an executor must handle the person’s estate appropriately because it will affect everyone involved, including distributing those assets that were dictated by the deceased person’s will before they passed.
There are several responsibilities that are involved in being an executor. Although estate laws may vary across the United States, a knowledgeable Pennsylvania lawyer can help to guide you through the process and ensure that you are following the applicable state laws.
- Arrange the funeral: The executor will typically take care of this. Most likely, the deceased person will have dictated whether they wished to have a burial or to be cremated, whether the deceased was tied to a religious institution (church, synagogue, etc.), and whether a religious service is needed. The executor should handle the payment out of the estate.
- Determine the location of the will: In addition to locating the will, there may be inheritance taxes that the executor must pay from the estate. The executor will also need to gather necessary documents concerning the estate.
- Choose an attorney: Although executors are not required to hire an attorney, it is sensible to have one. An attorney with estate expertise will look for things that you may not catch. The attorney may also be helpful when it comes to disputes among heirs and all other related issues.
Being chosen as executor is an honor and says a great deal about the decedent’s trust in you. Although it is a lot of work, it is well worth it, and you were chosen for a good reason.