Have you recently lost a loved one? If so, you may not only be grieving but also have questions about how their estate is going to be handled. There are multiple ways your relative could have handled their estate planning. In any case, you may end up handling the financial aspects of their estate if you were named as executor. If so, what might you need to know?
The executor’s responsibilities
If you are named as executor of your loved one’s estate, what might your responsibilities include? Every situation will be different, but generally speaking, it all boils down to one task: taking care of the financial matters of your loved one’s estate.
What might that include?
- Debts: As executor, you would be responsible for paying off any remaining debts, both personal and to any creditors.
- Assets: You also would be responsible for identifying assets of the estate.
- Distribution: If your loved one took the time to formally plan their estate and name an executor, then they almost certainly named heirs or beneficiaries. After debts have been settled, you are responsible for distributing the remaining assets to the stated beneficiaries.
- Taxes: Your responsibilities as executor of your loved one’s estate include filing any necessary tax returns and paying any taxes due.
It’s important to know that taking on the role of executor of an estate requires a lot of patience. It’s a tedious job that involves a lot of paperwork, and possibly some elbow-grease if there is any property to maintain until it is passed on through inheritance or is sold.
While you may be grieving the loss of your loved one, you might take comfort in having been named by them as executor of their estate. After all, being named in the role of executor of your loved one’s estate can be interpreted as a sign that you were trusted and gives you the opportunity to honor their last wishes.