If a loved one named you the executor of their will, you might have questions about what you’re supposed to do. In general, you will be responsible for ensuring that the deceased person’s wishes are carried out and that their beneficiaries get their assets. But you will also have to pay creditors, go through probate court, and complete other tasks that executors often find complicated. This is why you should talk to a lawyer before you get started administering your loved one’s estate.
What Are the First Steps?
As soon as you find out that your loved one has died and you are the executor of the will, you should request several certified copies of the death certificate. You will need to give these to banks, insurance providers, and other creditors that the deceased person had one or more accounts with.
Next, you need to locate the will, file it with the court, and then apply for probate. Once you read the will, you need to notify the beneficiaries. You also need to notify any family members who were not named in the will since they could still have a claim to the estate. This gives them a chance to object to the will.
What Financial Duties Do You Have?
One of the most important jobs you have as executor is to ensure everyone is paid what they’re entitled to from the estate. To do this, it’s recommended that you open a bank account in the name of the estate. From there, you can pay creditors who are owed money from the deceased person.
Once you have notified all creditors of the death, they will close the account and let you know how much your loved one owes so you can pay it. You will be required to pay any final expenses, debts and taxes of the estate. Once a probate court judge signs an Order, you will know how much each beneficiary and each creditor will be paid and you will distribute the remaining assets to the beneficiaries as Ordered by the Probate Court.
Do You Have To Go To Court?
The legal aspects of being an executor can be intimidating for many people. For instance, you will have to go to probate court for the initial hearing and will return when you’re ready to close the probate case. You might have to show up in court even more often if there is any litigation surrounding the estate.
If the idea of managing the estate and dealing with court sounds overwhelming, you should hire a lawyer to help you through every step. Contact our law firm at 612-448-9653 to talk to our Minneapolis lawyers as soon as your role as executor begins.