An executor is a person entrusted with the responsibility of managing a person’s affairs after they pass on. In some cases, this is a big task. In other cases, there is not much that goes into it. This all depends on the situation that the deceased has left behind.
In addition to ensuring that assets are transferred to the appropriate party, the executor will also oversee the process of paying debts and taxes.
Note: it is a common myth that an executor has to be a financial or legal professional. While this may not be true, the person should have a high level of honesty and diligence.
Here are some of the many responsibilities of an executor:
1. Locate the deceased person’s assets and manage them until they are appropriately distributed to heirs.
2. Determine who inherits what. This can be a challenge, especially if there are a lot of people expecting to receive an inheritance of some form. If there is a will, the executor will review it to determine who gets what. On the other hand, if no will is present this person is required to abide by state law to determine what happens next.
3. File the will in probate court. Even if no probate is required, this is the law in most states.
4. Manage day to day details. This can include everything from notifying others of the person’s death, such as the Social Security Administration, to canceling credit card accounts.
5. Pay debts and taxes. When a person passes on, there is a good chance they may leave some type of debt behind. If there is a probate proceeding, the executor is responsible for notifying creditors. As far as taxes are concerned, a final return must be filed. This will cover the period of time spanning from the beginning of the year to the person’s date of death.
Getting Legal Help with Choosing an Executor of a Will in Seattle
Are you in the process of planning for your future? If so, it may be time to choose an executor. This is a big decision, so make sure you consider all your options.
During this time, don’t be shy about requesting the assistance of your estate planning attorney. For example, we have many years experience helping our clients choose the best executor for their situation. If you have any questions or concerns regarding choosing an executor of a will in Seattle, contact us to discuss your case and determine which steps to take next.