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The standard duties of an executor

On Behalf of | Mar 24, 2023 | Estate Administration

New York families planning their estates might be curious about the executor’s duties. Many people believe that leaving a will is sufficient, and a lawyer will read it and ensure their final wishes are carried out as they intended.

If you’re chosen as an executor during estate planning and administration, you might not understand the duties and responsibilities assigned to you. Your primary duty is to fulfill your deceased or incapacitated loved one’s wishes. This task might seem simple; however, legal components and family input must be considered.

Personal legal representative duty

During the estate administration, the executor is the personal legal representative of the deceased and, as such, sorts through their assets and liabilities. The executor will manage debts, pay property taxes and distribute property to the living relatives. The executor also decides if the property needs to be sold to meet the obligations.

Additional duties of an executor

Another part of the duties of an executor is to inform the relatives of the decisions made, which can be a challenging proposition. Family members might disagree with the decisions and contest the will or executorship in court.

Other duties and obligations of the executor

In addition to managing the finances, paying estate taxes, and managing family conflict, the executor also manages the funeral and burial of the deceased person. The executor isn’t always family; in some cases, they can be a court-appointed professional or another person the deceased listed in their will.

The executor is entitled to a commission for their role, and the amount depends on the estate size and the work required. Good estate planning lessens the burden on loved ones charged with the executor role.