An estate executor is the person you name to handle your estate after you are deceased. This person is designated by you to take care of the financial matters you have outlined in your will, including paying your debts and distributing your assets to your inheritors.
The task of carrying out your will according to the requirements of the law can be a time consuming project, depending on the size of the estate and your financial situation at your death. It is not necessary for the person you choose to have a legal or financial background, but it is important that he or she is trustworthy and reliable. Choosing someone you trust with these important responsibilities can give you peace of mind knowing that your wishes will be carried out.
Estate Executor Duties | Estate Lawyer in Cary NC
- The estate executor has a number of responsibilities to complete before your estate can be closed out. This includes, but is not limited to:
- Locating all of your assets, which can be sold if needed to pay off debts, or given to inheritors once debts are paid.
- Determining if a probate court proceeding is necessary and filing with the courts to begin the process if it is.
- Filing the will in the probate court, regardless of whether or not a probate proceeding is needed.
- Checking your will to see who will inherit your estate. If you do not have a will, state law will determine how your assets should be distributed.
- Handling current financial affairs such as paying bills, closing out credit cards and leases, notifying government agencies such as the social Security office of your death.
- Opening a bank account for the estate in order to pay bills and debts.
- Determining what you owe and who you owe it to, then filing a notification to creditors making them aware of your death. The procedure is defined by each state and may involve running an advertisement in the local newspaper.
- Once the time frame for creditors to submit debts has passed, the estate executor will start paying off debts.
- Paying final taxes that cover the beginning of the tax year to the date of your death. If you have a small estate, it may not be necessary.
- Overseeing the distribution of what’s left of the estate in order to ensure it goes to the inheritors named in your will or the people the state has outlined as inheritors if you did not leave a will.
Having someone you trust with your estate and the distribution of your assets is important in making sure that your inheritors obtain what you want them to receive. The person can be named as part of the estate planning process, which includes writing a will. Another aspect of estate planning is determining who will speak on your behalf should you become unable to do so because of illness or other incompetency. You can include a power of attorney document that will name someone to represent you.
Eldreth and Eldreth | Estate Lawyer in Cary NC
If you need help planning your estate, call us today. We can answer questions you may have about estate planning, wills, power of attorney, and more. Do not leave your family without a plan outlining your wishes. Our offices are conveniently located in Cary, NC. We also handle elder law, small business law, trademarking, copyrighting, and DWI issues.