Menu ${site.data.firmName}${SEMFirmNameAlt}${site.data.firmName}${SEMFirmNameAlt}
Practice Areas
Let's Get Started!

What is an executor responsible for?

If you know anything about estate planning, you have probably heard the term “executor” before. And you may even know that an executor is in charge of handling a person’s estate according to their last will and testament.

But you probably aren’t aware of the exact duties that the executor is responsible for, so we will outline them for you today. Generally speaking, an executor is charged with making sure that a person’s last wishes are honored and their debts are paid off. 

Typically, an executor is responsible for the following duties:

  1. Locating the deceased person’s assets and keeping them safe until they can be distributed according to the will.
  2. Deciding if the deceased person’s will needs to be probated in court (based on state law and the value of the estate.)
  3. Locating the people who were named in the will to receive an inheritance, and making sure those people get what they are entitled to.
  4. Filing the will with the correct probate court, which usually required even if the will does not need to be probated.
  5. Wrapping up the affairs of the deceased person such as cancelling credit cards, altering the Social Security Administration and notifying banks.
  6. Creating a bank account for the estate’s funds since they normally should not be co-mingled with the executor’s assets.
  7. Continuing to make necessary payments on behalf of the estate such as mortgage payments and insurance dues.
  8. Paying off all debts owed by the deceased person, which usually needs to be done before anyone can receive an inheritance.
  9. Paying off final income taxes for the last year the deceased person was alive.
  10. Making sure that any remaining property included in the estate but left out of the will passes according to the state intestacy laws.

As you can see, an executor has many important tasks. An executor is not allowed to profit from the sale of assets that were part of the estate, but typically is entitled to a reasonable fee for administering the estate based on how complex the job was.

Source: FindLaw.com, “What Does an Executor Do?” accessed Nov. 25, 2014

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information

Serving businesses and individuals throughout Massachusetts

Waltham Office
375 Totten Pond Road
Suite 200
Waltham, MA 02451

Toll Free: 888-759-5109
Waltham Law Office Map

Braintree Office
25 Braintree Hill Office Park
Suite 406
Braintree, MA 02184

Toll Free: 888-759-5109
Phone: 617-523-1555
Braintree Law Office Map

Cranston Office
200 Midway Road
Suite 159
Cranston, RI 02920

Toll Free: 888-759-5109
Cranston Law Office Map

Hyannis Office
1330 Phinney’s Lane
Hyannis, MA 02601

Toll Free: 888-759-5109
Hyannis Law Office Map

Norwood Office
520 Providence Highway
Suite 10
Norwood, MA 02062

Toll Free: 888-759-5109
Norwood Law Office Map

Westborough Office
276 Turnpike Road
Suite 228
Westborough, MA 01581

Westborough Law Office Map

Woburn Office
444 Washington Street
Suite 203
Woburn, MA 01801

Woburn Law Office Map