The executor of a will has a lot of responsibility after someone has passed away. The executor also has certain rights and powers in order to be able to fulfill those duties. Because the executor is in a position of trust and can be held legally liable for behaving negligently and failing to fulfill his or her fiduciary duty, it is imperative that anyone who has been named as executor of an estate understand the laws applicable to probating a will.
Mark S. Eghrari & Associates, PLLC can help. Our dedicated and experienced legal team will work closely with anyone who has been named executor of a will to make certain that the probate process goes as smoothly as possible. If you are the executor, we will help you to understand your rights and responsibilities and we will help you to carry out your obligations during the entirety of the probate proceedings. To find out more about the ways in which our firm can help you, give us a call today.
What are the Powers of the Executor of a Will?
When you are named as the executor of an estate in someone’s will, you still need to be officially appointed as the executor by the court. Once you have accepted the responsibility of serving as executor of a will and have been appointed, you have certain responsibilities and you have the authority to carry out those responsibilities.
For example, you have the responsibility of managing the assets that the estate owns. This can mean doing things such as using the accounts belonging to the deceased to pay the mortgage bill on the home that the deceased person owned. You have the authority to take appropriate action to manage the estate assets in order to avoid losses and to protect the money and property the deceased left behind. However, you must fulfill responsibilities as you exercise this authority. For example, you have to keep an accounting of estate assets including expenditures that you make on behalf of the estate. You also have to behave in a responsible and reasonable manner when you manage estate assets. If you behave negligently, mismanage assets, or misappropriate assets, you could find that you are sued for breach of fiduciary duty.
You also have the responsibility to handle tax issues arising from the death and the transfer of property. This means you can apply for a tax ID number for the estate and you can file tax forms on behalf of the estate. Again, you have both rights and responsibilities here. You are expected to fulfill your obligations in a responsible manner and not to delay in paying tax bills or filing forms.
The executor of a will is also responsible for filing court paperwork, providing notice to potential heirs or beneficiaries, and defending the last will and testament if there is a will contest. The executor can hire a lawyer to help him carry out these tasks and fulfill all of his legal responsibilities. In fact, the executor should hire an attorney in most cases to make sure that the probate process goes smoothly.
Getting Help from a Probate Lawyer
The probate process can take around a year to complete and it can be a costly and complicated process. If you have been named as the executor of an estate, you havre a lot of power and responsibility during this process and you should make certain you have the legal advice you need to fulfill your responsibilities appropriately. Mark S. Eghrari & Associates, PLLC is here to help.
To find out more about how our firm can help you with all aspects of the probate process as you fulfill your role as executor of a will, you should join us for a free seminar. You can also give us a call at (631) 265-0599 or contact us online at any time to get personalized one-on-one advice about serving as an executor and making sure estate assets pass quickly while the wishes of the deceased are respected. Call today to get a lawyer working for you now.