Indianapolis probate attorneys can provide you with legal representation if you have been named as executor of an estate and you want to ensure that you can fulfill your fiduciary duty. Being named as the executor of an estate can impose very substantial obligations upon you and before you actually agree that you will serve as the executor and fulfill these obligations, you should talk with an experienced attorney to find out what is involved in serving as an executor and if you are up to the task.
Frank & Kraft will explain the process of serving as executor of an estate during probate proceedings. We can help you to make an informed choice about whether you want to be the executor of an estate and we can guide you through the process of serving as executor if you are willing. We can also assist you in understand what comes next if you determine that you do not want to be the executor of an estate.
What Happens if You Do Not Want to be the Executor of an Estate?
If you have been named in a will as executor of an estate, this does not mean that you actually are the executor. The court will still need to appoint you. If you do not want to be the executor, then you do not have to allow the court to appoint you to this role. You can decline to take on the responsibility. If the deceased person named a backup executor, the backup executor will take the responsibility of seeing the will through the probate process. If the last will and testament did not name a backup executor, then the court will appoint a personal representative or an estate administrator.
The estate administrator will fulfill all of the tasks that you would have normally fulfilled as the executor of an estate. There are a great number of tasks that are considered to be the responsibility of the executor of an estate, which is one reason why you may decide that fulfilling this role is not for you. For example, the executor of an estate has to file the paperwork for probate with the court and must manage assets in the estate throughout the entirety of the probate process. The executor also has to provide notice to interested parties, including potential beneficiaries or heirs as well as creditors who could have a claim on the estate. Executors also have to take care of the tax issues that can arise when assets pass on to new owners and executors must facilitate the transfer of the deceased person’s assets, such as by changing titles and deeds on property that the deceased person owned.
There is nothing wrong with admitting you are simply not going to have the time or the ability to be an executor of an estate — and it can be better to decline up front if you know you are not going to be able to do the tasks required of an executor, rather than trying to take on the responsibility and having to be removed or even potentially facing a lawsuit for breaching your fiduciary duty. If you do decide that you want to take on the role of executor, however, you can get legal help from an experienced attorney who will guide you through the technical steps necessary to fulfill your responsibilities. An experienced attorney can make it much easier to serve as executor of an estate, so you can fulfill the wishes of the deceased and guide the estate through probate without becoming overwhelmed by complicated and time-consuming responsibilities.
Getting Help from Indianapolis Probate Attorneys
Indianapolis probate attorneys at Frank & Kraft will work closely with you to understand how the probate process works and to make sure that you fulfill your obligations during this process. We can help all parties to probate proceedings, including executors, heirs or beneficiaries, and any individuals who believe they have a valid reason to contest a will. If you are involved in probate and you want to ensure that you fulfill your obligations and that your rights are respected, you should reach out to our legal team.
To find out more about how we help you with the probate process, you can join us for a free seminar. If you want personalized help serving as the executor of an estate or otherwise going through the probate process, you can give us a call at 317-684-1100 or contact us online today.
Mr. Kraft assists clients primarily in the areas of estate planning and administration, Medicaid planning, federal and state taxation, real estate and corporate law, bringing the added perspective of an accounting background to his work.