Many people in Maryland have heard of the term “executor” and may even have a basic idea of what that title conveys. In simple terms, it is a person appointed to make sure that a specified person’s estate is distributed after death in accordance with the estate owner’s will, while also honoring any financial obligations are met. That definition is quite broad and may not fully express the duties of an executor as a part of estate planning. Here is a guide regarding many of the duties of an executor that shows just how important this position can be.
First and foremost, executors are expected to fulfill their obligations to the best of their abilities. They are sometimes an attorney or financial advisor, though that is not mandatory. Executors will find and safeguard the estate owner’s assets through the distribution process. If an estate owner owed money, the executor is responsible for the payment of that debt before distributing other property and assets to designated heirs. This could involve selling property, though the executor is not necessarily entitled to compensation from that sale.
The executor will also determine how to manage the probate process if it is needed. If not, the executor is still responsible for filing the estate owner’s will in probate court. There are often various payments that need to be made to creditors and for tax purposes, and the executor will undertake that process, which may include setting up a bank account for that express purpose. One of the last steps may be distributing property and assets to heirs.
All of this is a big responsibility and should not be taken on lightly. For those who are unsure of who to appoint as their executor, an estate planning attorney here in California may be able to offer clarity, as well as assist with the entire process of making an estate plan. It could be one of the most important choices people make for the futures of those that they love.