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Written By: Brandy Miller | March 16, 2017 | No Comments

Being the Executor of a Will Is a Significant Responsibility

Berks County Estate Administration Attorney Larry Miller, Jr.

I can help you perform the complicated responsibilities you assume when you became the executor of your loved one’s will.

While most people consider being named the executor of a loved one’s will an honor, it is also an obligation that comes with significant responsibilities. Depending on the complexities involved, it could be a very challenging role. That is why you need to make sure you know what you are getting into before you accept.

Here are just some of the more important responsibilities and duties you will assume.

What Is an Executor?

  • The executor of a will is the person the deceased has chosen to distribute his or her property.
  • If a person does not have a will, the court will appoint an executor. The court-appointed executor is known as the “administrator of the estate.”
  • An executor will often have to
    • organize the finances of the deceased; and
    • make sure that the estate pays all taxes and debts.
  • Executors are usually
    • spouses;
    • parents;
    • children; or
    • siblings.
  • Executors must carry out their duties in the most honest, diligent and impartial manner possible.

The Responsibilities of an Executor Include Paperwork and Organization

The executor will be responsible for not only locating the will but also reading and understanding it completely. He or she will then file the will with the Court and determine who will inherit the deceased’s property. The executor will then need to not only notify credit card companies, government agencies, and banks of the death but also set up a bank account for any other funds that may be coming in. Funds coming in could include money owed to the deceased person, such as paychecks.

Throughout the probate process, the executor must take care of utilities, mortgage payments, and other bills. He or she also must maintain the deceased’s property until it is either sold or distributed. For example, this could mean keeping up a house or making sure personal property is stored in a secure place.

The executor must handle taxes as well. You will likely have to file a final income tax return on behalf of the deceased, running from the start of the year until the date the death occurred.  The executor must file an inheritance tax return within nine months of death.

Talk to an Attorney

It can be overwhelming to be named the executor of an attorney, especially if the estate is large. There are complexities you might not have anticipated. That’s why you need to speak with our experienced Estate Planning Attorneys so that you are as prepared as possible should you accept the role. A seasoned Estate Administration Attorneys can also help make sure you properly carry out your duties.

At Miller Law Group, PLLC, our attorneys take great pride in treating clients as people — not billable hours. We have 40 years’ experience helping people in Berks County, Reading and throughout the state of Pennsylvania. We welcome the opportunity to help you, as well. Please Contact Us Online or call 610-670-9000.

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