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Are you familiar with the duties of an executor of an estate?

On Behalf of | Apr 6, 2022 | blog, estate administration & probate |

After passing away in Indiana, you’ll likely have belongings to distribute. Before that happens, choosing an executor to help handle your possessions, financial assets and paperwork is essential. This personal representative will carry out your final wishes after you have died.

What is an executor, and what do they do?

When you die, you will leave an estate. It typically consists of the property you own like furniture, personal possessions, investments, your home and automobiles. Ensuring that these items get distributed per your wishes can be done by having a personal representative, known as an executor, manage your estate. Their role is to protect the estate assets, transfer specific ones to your heirs and pay taxes and debts.

Why is it important to choose an executor?

Choosing an executor is essential if you want to ensure that your estate administration is handled as you see fit. Failing to choose an executor means your assets will likely be divided according to state laws, and an administrator will be appointed by a probate court to handle your affairs. Typically, a spouse, child or close relative is chosen to be your executor. However, if you have a complex situation, a company with experience in this area may be a good choice.

What are the responsibilities of an executor?

When an individual is named as an executor, a list of responsibilities will need to be completed. These can include the following:

  • Obtain the deceased’s death certificate
  • File a will
  • Notify essential parties of the death such as friends, family and government
  • Open an estate bank account
  • Pay taxes and debts
  • Distribute assets

It’s vital to understand the duties of an executor so that you know what qualities and capabilities to look for in your executor. When you’re looking to name an executor, choosing a reliable and trustworthy relative is ideal.