When a person is named as executor of a will, there are many executor duties that have to be fulfilled during the probate process. It is not a small matter to agree to be an executor of a will because of the extensive obligations that are imposed upon you. Not only do you have many different jobs that you have to do during the probate process, but you could also be held accountable if you are accused of failing to fulfill your obligations or are accused of using the estate to enrich yourself.
Nirenstein, Horowitz & Associates can provide assistance in understanding executor duties if someone has named you to serve as executor of an estate. By understanding what is being asked of you, you can make an informed determination regarding whether you should actually serve as executor of a will or not. If you decide not to serve, the court can appoint a personal administrator to take care of the essential tasks required during the probate process. Our legal team can also provide you with help serving as executor of an estate so you can honor the wishes of the deceased by filling this role. Give us a call today to find out more.
List of Executor Duties
Executor duties during the probate process are going to be determined, to some extent, by the specifics of the estate. Larger estates will impose more obligations upon a person who is asked to serve as executor while the process of winding up the affairs of a smaller estate can be much easier. Connecticut law also dictates what is supposed to happen during the probate process and has a role in determining what the obligations of an executor of a will are.
Some of the different duties that an executor may have during the probate process include:
- Filing for probate. When someone dies, the probate process has to take place in courts where property is owned. The executor of a will is the one who must determine where to file for probate and who actually has to go to court and submit the proper paperwork.
- Providing required notice. Executors have to let heirs or beneficiaries know about the death and about the probate process. Executors also have to provide notification to creditors who have the right to make claims on the estate.
- Making an inventory of estate assets and collecting assets: You need to know what is a part of the estate and it is the executor’s job to find out. An executor also has to assess whether there are any outstanding obligations owed to the estate so they can go after those who owe money and try to collect.
- Completing appropriate valuations of estate assets: A determination may need to be made regarding how much the property and assets in the estate are worth.
- Going through the probate process: The executor is going to have to be in court for all probate proceedings and is going to have to make certain that the probate process moves as quickly as possible.
- Taking care of property: Until property transfers to new owners, it has to be managed. Decisions must be made to protect the wealth in the estate. Bills have to be paid and property has to be maintained. An executor of an estate has to take care of all these tasks, which can be daunting in larger estates.
- Addressing tax issues: An executor of an estate has to obtain a tax ID number for the estate, file appropriate tax returns, pay estate tax if necessary, and pay any other taxes that are due.
- Transferring assets: assets don’t just transfer instantly or automatically to new owners. Actual steps have to be taken to make sure that property and accounts can transfer appropriately. This can mean changing titles, deeds, and more.
These are just some of the key tasks that an executor of an estate has to take care of during the probate process. If you fail to fulfill obligations, you could be held liable if heirs or beneficiaries pursue claims for breach of fiduciary duty.
Getting Help from A Connecticut Probate Lawyer
A Connecticut probate lawyer can provide assistance fulfilling all of the executor duties that must be fulfilled under Connecticut law and under the terms of the will. Give us a call at 860-548-1000 or contact us online to speak with a member of our legal team to learn how Nirenstein, Horowitz & Associates can provide you with help fulfilling executor duties.