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What does an executor do during the probate process?

On Behalf of | Sep 9, 2022 | Probate and Estate Administration

Being named as an executor or personal representative in another person’s will can be a significant responsibility. Executors must perform many tasks during this process. What do these responsibilities include?

File the will with the local court.

The court oversees probate, and executors must present specific documentation to the court to begin this process.

Inventory  and value the estate.

Paying the bills left behind by the person passed away and distributing their property to their loved ones requires an executor to have a clear understanding of the property in the estate and its value. Creating an inventory of the property in the estate and establishing the value of that property form the foundation of this understanding. Valuable assets like real estate, collectibles, stake in a business and other property will likely need a professional appraisal.

Pay debts and taxes.

When a person passes away with unpaid debts — as is the case with 73 percent of Americans — their executor has the responsibility of paying those debts with the funds in their estate. In addition, an executor must also file taxes for the person who has passed away.

Distribute assets in the estate.

Once they have paid all necessary debts, the executor handles the distribution of the property left in the estate. This includes transferring ownership of real estate to its new owner.

These are only some of the tasks involved in serving as the executor of an estate. Because of the many responsibilities put before an executor during the probate process, it is important for people to have support when acting in this role. Executors may want legal support to ensure that they perform all of the necessary tasks and follow the guidelines that the law provides.