What Are the Duties of an Executor?

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You may not have to take part in any responsibilities as a beneficiary of a last will and testament. But the same cannot be said for an executor. Follow along to find out the duties of an executor and how a proficient Putnam County wills attorney at the Law Office of Andres D. Gil, PLLC can help determine whether you should accept this responsibility.

What are the duties of an executor of a will?

Overall, you, an executor of a last will and testament, hold a fiduciary duty toward a testator and their named beneficiaries.

That is, an executor must preserve and administer an estate in the way a testator explicitly wishes for in their will. At the same time, an executor must respect the beneficiaries’ rights to information on the estate’s status and subsequently distribute the shares to which they are entitled. This is all to say that your duties prevent you from working in your own interest to the detriment of the estate.

It is worth adding that your duties as an executor may not commence until after a testator’s unfortunate passing. With this, you must ask their expectations for you in this role while they are still around to answer.

This is important because you do not want to realize that you are unwilling or unable to take on this responsibility when it is too late. This may lead to complications in the New York State surrogate’s court, whether you have to file for renunciation, a beneficiary files for removal, or the court has to intervene to appoint another administrator.

What characteristics might make me a good executor?

You may be hesitant as to whether you are cut out to serve as someone’s executor in the first place. So, when asked, you may have to do some serious self-reflection and ask yourself whether you possess the characteristics of a good executor. Such characteristics may include, but may not be limited to, the following:

  • You have similar values to the testator and therefore have no issue executing their estate according to their wishes.
  • You have strong communication skills and therefore have no issue speaking with or updating the beneficiaries.
  • You have healthy relationship dynamics with the beneficiaries and therefore expect to get along swimmingly.
  • You have great organizational skills and therefore have no issue executing the estate timely and effectively.
  • You have experience making financial decisions and overall handling financial matters for your domestic family.
  • You are of a young age and in great health and expect the same when you are called to serve this duty.

In a way, the best thing you can do to help yourself is to let a talented Putnam County estate planning attorney help you. So please, whenever you are ready, reach out to us at the Law Office of Andres D. Gil, PLLC.

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