Undertaking the role of executor to an estate is a considerable responsibility. Therefore, before you name an executor or allow an individual to accept the role, you may want to ensure that you and your candidate understand what executor duties they will likely need to carry out. This way, an individual may not feel caught off guard or overwhelmed by the responsibilities expected of him or her after your demise.
Attending to assets
The executor of an estate must locate and manage assets of the deceased individual. This duty encompasses keeping the assets safe until they go through the distribution process as well as determining which assets he or she should sell or keep after distributing the necessary property.
Addressing financial affairs
A variety of financial affairs often need addressing after an individual's death. As a result, the executor will need to pay off remaining debts and notify creditors of the death. He or she will also have the obligation of ensuring that necessary payments continue, such as mortgage or insurance.
The executor will also have to set up a bank account in the name of the estate in order for estate funds to remain separate from the executor's personal funds.
Contacting named individuals
An executor also has the duty of contacting individuals named in the will in order to receive their inheritances. In addition to finding and speaking with these parties, the executor must also ensure that the individuals obtain the correct property.
Attending to unspecified property
If all assets and property were not specifically bequeathed to individuals by way of the will, the executor must then determine where the remaining property goes. Following state law may prove the best route as these laws dictate the order in which surviving relatives and other parties should receive assets.
Dealing with general estate affairs
Many institutions may need to receive notification of the individual's death. The executor should inform credit card companies, banks and other businesses in which the deceased may have held an account. Additionally, the executor should take steps to close the necessary accounts associated with the deceased individual.
The naming of an executor should be well-thought out as many important tasks will fall to the named party. Appointing your executor is just one step out of many that could take part of your estate planning process. By having these plans in place, you and your family may have less worry when it comes to addressing your estate after your passing.
If you would like more information on the executor duties and to potentially gain assistance with creating your estate plans, you may wish to speak with experienced West Virginia attorneys.