estate planning

Named the Executor of a Will (and the Person Passes Away): What Is the Next Step?

The executor of a will has an important job following the death of the person who named them as executor. They will manage the deceased person’s estate to help ensure everything goes where it needs to go.

After a person passes away, their liabilities and assets will generally be transferred to their estate. The executor needs to make sure all issues of the estate are settled, and this includes paying the creditors, not just ensuring assets go to the right heirs.

Although many may understand the basics of what the executor is supposed to do, few people who haven’t been through the process know the steps. Let’s get a closer look at how it usually proceeds.

The Will and Death Certificates

Generally, the first thing the executor will need to do after a person passes away will be to locate the will and get certified copies of the death certificate. The death certificate is needed for many parts of executing the will.

Determine Whether Probate Is Needed

Whether or not probate will be necessary will generally depend on the size of the estate. For small estates, it might not be needed. However, the rules can vary based on the types of assets involved, the size of the estate, and other factors.

Filing the Will, Assets, Etc.

You will need to file the will in the local probate court and request that you are named as the personal representative. You will need to send notice of probate to all of the beneficiaries in the will or to close relatives if there is no valid will.

You are required to locate and manage the assets, terminate leases, handle outstanding contracts, notify banks, etc. You also need to set up an estate bank account to hold money owed to the decedent, such as money from stocks or paychecks. The executor is responsible for paying debts, notifying creditors, distributing the property, and closing the estate.

Consider Hiring an Attorney

Being the executor of a will is a substantial amount of work, as you can see. It might not be something you have the time or capabilities to do, at least not on your own. If you are feeling overwhelmed, you may want to talk with an attorney. You could hire an attorney to act as a coach to help answer questions from a legal perspective if needed.

Alternatively, you could hire an attorney to handle everything for you. For some, this may be the better solution. Contact Gandhi Selim Law today to learn more!

Published by
Gandhi Selim Law

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