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Will executor questions: These may be on your mind

It doesn't matter if you're acting as the executor of a will or choosing someone for this responsibility, it goes without saying that you'll have some questions to answer.

The more information and knowledge you collect, the easier it becomes to proceed with confidence.

To start, it's important to understand the primary responsibilities of an executor.

In short, an executor is a person named in a will who has the legal authority to take care of the deceased individual's remaining financial obligations. These obligations can include but are not limited to the following:

  • Distributing all assets to the appropriate individuals, as outlined in the will
  • Paying any taxes or bills for the estate
  • Maintaining all property until the estate passes over to the beneficiaries
  • Making all necessary court appearances on behalf of the estate

Can an executor say no?

Just because a person is named as an executor in a will doesn't mean he or she has to take on the responsibility. The individual has the legal right to decline for any reason.

Furthermore, even if a person originally accepts the role of executor, he or she can quit on the process at any time, thus forcing the court to name a replacement.

Is there compensation for acting as an executor?

While not always the case, most people perform the responsibilities of an executor free of charge. However, this person is allowed to seek payment.

The reason why this is uncommon is that most people name a close family member, such as a spouse or an adult child, as the executor of their will.

Can an executor do everything on his or her own?

Even though an executor has many duties, it doesn't mean he or she can handle everything that comes one's way without outside assistance.

Even in the event of a routine will, it takes a special level of knowledge in order to make all the right decisions along the way. This is why many executors consult with an experienced legal team.

If you've been named the executor of a will and it's time to take on your responsibilities, learn more about probate, the tasks you need to handle and how to prevent common mistakes.

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