Understanding the Role and Responsibilities of an Executor of Estate in New York

As you prepare your will that details your intentions, it is essential to take time to consider who will be your executor of an estate in New York. The duties of an executor require taking care of many fiduciary tasks and functions to fully satisfy your intentions.

An executor can be any person of legal age able to carry out the required duties. You do not have to name a relative as your executor. You could name a business, your wills and estate lawyer, a business partner, or a friend. Ideally, you want to choose someone you can trust and rely on.

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Duties of an Executor of Estate in New York

The executor you select also needs to understand their role and responsibilities to successfully carry out their duties. In general, they will be tasked with accounting for all of your assets, property, investments, financial accounts, and debts. They will also be responsible for filing your death certificate and will with the probate court in New York, called the New York Surrogate Court.

The probate process is required to ensure the will is legally binding, as well as to address any potential issues where one or more beneficiaries may attempt to contest the will. Most executors do seek assistance from a qualified probate lawyer to ensure all legal obligations are met.

Probating the will is just one duty of an executor. The executor will need to safeguard all assets until such time they are to be liquidated and/or distributed to beneficiaries. If the deceased owned a business, then the executor is required to oversee its operations.

Additionally, they will inventory and appraise all assets to establish their value. Prior to distributing the estate to the beneficiaries, the executor must satisfy all debts claimed by creditors, as well as income and estate taxes.

Furthermore, the executor should take steps to protect the interests of the beneficiaries. This could require keeping accounting records and other financial reports to show that the assets have been protected.

Executors Have to Manage Various Obligations

As you can imagine, the duties of an executor can be rather complex. They have to manage various obligations, depending on the size and complexity of the estate.

For instance, they may need to collect rental income from rental properties. They might be required to make investments to keep assets from depreciating. They could have to take over running a business, as well as related business duties like making operational decisions.

In addition, they have to maintain all physical property in its current condition. This can require performing maintenance and repairs as needed. To better manage these various obligations, executors can seek outside help from accountants, lawyers, maintenance technicians, and other professionals as needed.

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Executors May Have to Deal with Conflicts

Aside from managing the estate of the deceased and carrying out their intentions, many executors have to deal with conflicts from relatives, friends, and beneficiaries who dispute the will or disagree about how assets should be divided.

Understanding the role and responsibilities of an executor of an estate in New York is essential to select the right person. It is highly recommended you inform the person you name as executor so they can also review what duties and responsibilities they will need to perform.

For further assistance in preparing your will and selecting an executor or obtaining help with the probate process in New York, please feel free to contact Joseph A. Ledwidge PC at 718-276-6656 today!

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