Executorship – I’m the Executor of an Estate, What Are My First Steps?

You’ve Been Named Executor – Now What?

If you have been named as the executor of an estate for a friend or a family member, you may feel somewhat overwhelmed with the unknown responsibilities that you will assume in this role. Nichols Law has the knowledge and experience to help you navigate the ins and outs as acting as an Executor.

The duties and responsibilities of an Executor include:

  • Confirming the location of the deceased’s original Will
  • Acquiring a copy of the death certificate
  • Applying for a Certificate of Appointment, formerly known as “Probating an Estate”, (if necessary)
  • Coordinating and organizing the funeral
  • Securing and preserving the assets and property of the deceased
  • The payment of the deceased’s debts, bills, taxes etc.
  • Validating the value of estate assets
  • The collection of the deceased assets, including monies from financial institutions, private loans and insurance companies
  • Preparation and submissions of tax returns for the deceased and that of their estate
  • The selling of properties and assets, where necessary
  • Creating and setting up trusts, where necessary
  • Accounting to the Estate’s beneficiaries
  • Distribution of the estates proceeds to the beneficiaries

Managing a Loved One’s Estate

There are many legal steps and processes that you will need to be aware of and prepared for, while acting as an Executor. The role of executor is a role given to someone to manage a loved one’s estate according to the terms that are laid out in their will.

In most cases, executors are entitled to remuneration for their efforts, as well as being able to reclaim any expenses they have incurred while acting in their capacity as an Executor. The value of this remuneration varies, depending on the amount of work completed by the Executor, the complexity of the Estate and the overall value of the Estate.

Getting a Lawyer’s Help

If the estate is complex, receiving direction from a lawyer may be prudent to assist with the estate’s administration. If you wish to decline the role of executor, then you should speak with a lawyer immediately to ensure that the appropriate steps are taken to have you removed as the executor.

If a loved one or friend has named you as an executor, Nichols Law can assist you with all the legal matters that need to be attended to, during your appointment as acting executor.