Most people have heard the term “executor” before, but many wonder exactly what an executor does. Serving as an estate executor may be an honor, but it can also be one of the most overwhelming jobs anyone will ever have. By legal definition, an executor is a person entrusted with the responsibility of ensuring that a person’s wishes are granted after his or her death. Visit the website to learn how an executor is responsible for paying a decedent’s debts and distributing remaining assets to heirs.
An Executor Does Not Need a Legal Degree
Although executors are not required to be an estate attorney in Chico, CA, the law does require diligence and honesty on the executor’s part. The legal term for this requirement is “fiduciary duty”, and under it an executor is required to handle the deceased person’s will in good faith. Executors aren’t entitled to any of the proceeds of the estate; generally speaking, the person is entitled only to a fee for the administration of the will. Most states base the executor’s fee on the complexity or size of the decedent’s will.
An Executor’s Specific Duties
An estate executor has many duties to fulfill depending on the assets to be disbursed and upon the will’s complexity. Such duties include:
* Locating the decedent’s assets and safeguard them until distribution to heirs or creditors.
* Deciding if the will must go through probate. In the probate process, the court approves the will’s validity. Deciding whether or not to go to probate depends on state law, as well as the type and value of the property included in the will.
* Contacting beneficiaries. An estate executor is responsible for ensuring that named assets go to the correct beneficiary.
* Finalizing the decedent’s affairs. This part of the job can include everything from hiring an estate attorney in Chico, CA to telling the Social Security Administration that the person has died.
An estate executor has many responsibilities, the most important of which is ensuring that the deceased person’s property is distributed in accordance with his or her wishes. However, if another property is not named in the will, it passes according to state law. If a person dies intestate (without a will), the person in charge is referred to as an administrator. This person is tasked with following state law to determine who will receive the decedent’s assets.