What Does an Executor Do?

When your estate plan has been finalized, you will have to choose a person to act as the Executor of your estate. The terms Personal Representative, Administrator, and Executor are used interchangeably and mean the same thing. This decision should not be taken lightly. The position of the executor of your estate comes with great responsibility and should be chosen with care. Before you make a decision, it is important that you take the time to consider what is entailed with this position. It is also recommended that you reach out to an experienced estate planning attorney for guidance and legal advice. To learn what an Executor does and how our Monmouth County estate planning attorney can assist you, continue reading.

What are an executor’s responsibilities?

When you pass away, your Executor will begin carrying out their duties. When picking the person to be your Executor, you must consider their ability to carry about responsibilities, particularly in a time of grief. Bear in mind that an Executor may hire an attorney to assist with these responsibilities and it is usually highly advisable to do so. The following are some of the responsibilities that an Executor must do to complete the process of closing the estate:

  • must submit the original will to the Surrogate in the county where the decedent resided so that the Executor may be appointed to administer the estate
  • must gather the assets and determine if there are any creditor claims.
  • must manage the assets, including selling any real property and obtain appropriate waivers.
  • must take inventory of your assets and their appraised values.
  • must file a final personal income tax return for the decedent, as well as an estate income tax return if the estate earned more than $600 in a given year. They also must file any state or federal, estate or inheritance tax returns that may be required.
  • must prepare a final informal accounting.
  • must distribute all assets to beneficiaries listed in your will, after each beneficiary signs a Refunding Bond and Release

Your representative will be required to coordinate with all parties that play a role in closing your estate. This will include the following individuals:

  • Trustees
  • Financial planners
  • Attorneys
  • Beneficiaries
  • Creditors
  • Accountants

When choosing an Executor, you must choose a person who is trustworthy, competent, and able to take on these responsibilities. If you are facing this decision, it is important that you reach out to an experienced New Jersey estate planning attorney for guidance. My firm is prepared to assist you with this decision. Give our firm a call today to learn more about our services and how we can assist you.

Contact Our Red Bank, New Jersey Firm

The planning and administration of an estate require experienced legal guidance. If you need an effective attorney to assist you with matters of wills, trusts, and estates, or the taxes associated with them, contact Margaret M. Mahon, Esq. LLC today to schedule a consultation.