Probate lawyers at Frank & Kraft can provide representation to the executor of an estate who has been named in a will and who has been appointed by the court to oversee the probate process. If you have been named as the executor, you need to be aware of how much responsibility is actually involved in fulfilling this role. Serving as the executor of an estate can require a lot out of you and you should be certain that you are willing and able to serve as the executor before you decide to take on this task. If you have been named as an executor in a last will and testament and you decide not to take on this task, the court can appoint someone else who will serve as the estate administrator and who will fulfill the role that the executor would normally have fulfilled. You should not feel obligated to serve as the executor of an estate if you aren’t confident you can do the process correctly.
Frank & Kraft will assist you in understanding exactly what an executor’s duties are so you can make an informed choice about whether you are willing and able to be an executor of an estate or not. If you decide that you wish to become an executor of an estate, we can help you throughout the entirety of the probate process as you fulfill your role.
Our probate lawyers will take care of all of the technical and legal formalities for you so handling the legal part of the probate process should be easier. You should give us a call as soon as your loved one has passed away and you have been named executor so we can start advising you on your options and so we can help you to carry out your role as executor if you want to respect the wishes of the deceased and accept the responsibility. If you want to find out more about what an executor may have to do, you can also read on to find a list of executor duties.
What Are the Duties of an Executor during the Probate Process?
The probate process can take around a year to complete, according to Investopedia. If you take on the responsibility of being the executor of an estate, you will need to manage the assets that are in the estate until the probate process has been completed. This means paying the bills that are owed, collecting from those who owe money to the estate, managing property and investments, and making an accounting of estate assets. The process of managing an estate can be very complicated and you don’t want to be accused of mismanagement or, worse, be accused of violating your fiduciary duty and actually end up being held accountable for losses that occurred if you’re sued by heirs or beneficiaries.
Not only do you need to manage the assets in the estate, but it will also be your responsibility to oversee the legal aspects of the probate process and to take the necessary steps to wind up the affairs of the estate. Some of the tasks that you may need to do include:
- Providing notice to interested parties, including potential heirs or beneficiaries and to creditors who may have a claim on the estate.
- Filing the appropriate paperwork with the probate court, including the initial documents that are necessary to get the probate process started.
- Submitting the last will and testament and other estate planning documents to the probate court so the wishes of the deceased can be respected when it comes to the transfer of the estate assets.
- Filing all required tax forms and making sure that estate tax are paid if required based on the value of the estate and based on who the heirs or beneficiaries are.
- Facilitating the transfer of the estate assets to new owners, which could include changing deeds and titles.
There may also be many additional requirements that you have to fulfill depending upon the specific circumstances of the estate and the assets that the deceased left behind. For example, you may need to facilitate the process of defending the will if there is a will contest.
How can Probate Lawyers Help You?
Probate lawyers at Frank & Kraft can provide you with assistance understanding what it means to serve as the executor of an estate and can help you to fulfill this role if you decide you want to take on the responsibility. You should give us a call at 317-684-1100 or contact us online as soon as possible to discover more about how our compassionate and knowledgeable legal team can help you when a loved one has passed away and has instructed that you should be put in charge of winding up his estate.
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.