What are your duties as an executor of a will?

You have been named the executor of someone’s will: now what? You probably have a lot of questions about what you are expected to do and what steps you need to take to get the process started. 

Being the executor of a loved one’s will can be a difficult process, especially since you are still grieving the loss of your loved one. However, the executor is expected to take care of the person’s estate and your duties will start fairly soon after your loved one’s passing.

What exactly is the executor expected to do? The executor of a will has several duties to complete. The executor should become familiar with the person’s will so he or she knows who the listed beneficiaries are and what they will be receiving. 

Some of the main duties the executor will complete include: 

  • Gathering the deceased’s assets
  • Paying any bills
  • Filing any tax returns
  • Distributing assets to beneficiaries

The executor should become familiar with the will so the estate is settled according to the will’s terms. It is the executor’s responsibility to make sure the terms of the will are executed according to their loved one’s wishes. 

Being named the executor of another person’s will can be difficult. There are many decisions and procedures to follow to make sure the will is managed properly. In California, there are specific laws regarding the probate process and how the terms of the will should be managed. 

Executing the will or other estate planning documents can be a complicated process. It may be beneficial to work with an attorney to discuss any legal issues you should be aware of and to make sure the will is being executed according to the estate’s terms. 

Source: The American Bar Association, “Guidelines for Individual Executors & Trustees,” Accessed June 18, 2014