The executor of a will has many responsibilities. If you are chosen to be the executor of a will, you need to make certain that you are able to fulfill these responsibilities in accordance with Connecticut law and in accordance with the wishes of the deceased. If you cannot fulfill the role as executor, you do not have to agree to serve as the executor.
Nirenstein, Horowitz & Associates provides assistance to those who have been named as executors of a will. We can help you to understand what would be involved in fulfilling your responsibilities so you can make the most informed choices about whether you are willing and able to be an executor. We can also help you if you decide you wish to fulfill this role so you can make sure that the wishes of the deceased are respected. Give us a call today to find out more.
Should You Serve As Executor of a Will?
If a friend or relative has named you executor of a will and you accept this responsibility, you are going to need to do lots of different things. You are going to be in charge of managing the assets the deceased left behind, filing paperwork with the probate court, and going through the probate process. You will have to file appropriate tax returns, provide notification to all interested parties about the probate process, and defend the will if it is contested. The responsibilities of serving as executor are significant, and you have a fiduciary duty under the law when you serve as executor, which is the highest legal duty that exists. If beneficiaries or heirs believe you are acting inappropriately, you could find yourself being sued.
Because of the extent of the responsibilities associated with serving as an executor, you need to think carefully about whether you are able and willing to serve in this role. You need to think about whether you can manage the assets of the deceased and take care of all of the legal steps involved in probate. You can and should hire an attorney to take care of a lot of the steps of the probate process, but there are some things you will end up doing on your own.
Even though being an executor is a big responsibility, lots of people are willing to do it. You can receive fees for serving as the executor, and you can also honor the wishes of the deceased if you decide to fulfill this role. It is up to you to weigh the importance and benefits of respecting the wishes of the deceased and earning the fees versus the hassle and stress of agreeing to be executor.
What if You Do Not Want to Serve As Executor?
If a will has named you executor, a probate court would still have to appoint you as the executor before you actually become responsible for going through the probate process and winding up the affairs of the estate. You do not have to agree to serve as executor and if you do not, the court will appoint an estate administrator or personal representative. The court’s appointment of an estate administrator or personal representative will be governed by the same rules applicable in situations where no executor was named in the will.
Getting Help from A Connecticut Probate Lawyer
If you have been named executor of a will, you should get legal help right away from a Connecticut probate lawyer so you will know what to expect. Jumping in and assuming all of the responsibilities without knowing what you are getting into can be a very bad idea, as you could find yourself with lots of duties you are not certain how to fulfill and you could potentially face legal consequences if you do things wrong when managing the estate and moving through the probate process.
If you do decide you want to respect the wishes of the deceased and serve as executor of an estate, you should also make sure you have an attorney who represents you. Nirenstein, Horowitz & Associates can make the process of serving as executor of an estate easy because we can take care of all of the legal processes on your behalf.
Give us a call at 860-548-1000 or contact us online to find out more about the ways in which we can assist you in honoring your deceased friend or relative by serving as an executor. You can also download our free estate planning worksheet to find out more about the role of an executor during the probate process.