The Role of an Executor

The Role of an Executor

While you may feel honored to be asked to be an Executor by a friend or family member, the decision to accept this role should not be taken lightly.  In fact, an Executor assumes a great deal of responsibility and some risk when accepting this role.

In fact, before you accept the role, it is important to understand what an Executor does, and whether or not you are prepared to assume the responsibility.

An Executor administers a person’s estate after they die and fulfills the wishes outlined in their will and also in accordance with the law.  Often times, people will look to fulfill this role amongst their family or friends, but for other’s they will elect a trust company or other professional to carry out these duties.

With the average estate taking 580 hours and 18 months to settle, the following steps provide a rough idea of what the Executor can expect:

  • Step 1      Locate the Will
  • Step 2      Confirm the validity of the will
  • Step 3      Protect the assets
  • Step 4      Arrange the funeral
  • Step 5      Communicate with beneficiaries
  • Step 6      List the assets and liabilities
  • Step 7      Apply for probate (if necessary)
  • Step 8      Deal with taxes and debt
  • Step 9      Account to beneficiaries
  • Step 10    Distribute the estate

The same is true when you are considering who to appoint for this role in your will.  Consider if the person you are wanting to ask has the time to dedicate to this role.  For example, if your adult child is working full time alongside raising a family, will they realistically have time for what’s to come?

On the flip side, given the time, responsibility and assumption of risk when accepting the role of an Executor, be sure and take the time to find what’s involved and how it might impact your life.

To find out how we help Executors:

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