What Are Executors Expected To Do?

On Behalf of | May 1, 2023 | Estate Planning |

Most people assign an executor based on who they feel most comfortable with. They do not often think about the responsibilities and duties the executor must shoulder.

Many do not even know what the exact responsibilities are in the first place. So what do executors really do?

Managing bills and debts

As Executor.org discusses, executors have many different duties regarding the decedent’s estate. This includes managing the estate’s assets.

In practice, this means deciding what bills to continue paying and which ones to end. For example, if the decedent owned a house that will later get sold or given to an heir, that house will likely need the power bills paid. However, any magazine subscriptions the decedent had can end.

In addition, it is up to the executor to get into contact with anyone the decedent owed a debt to and repay those debts.

Dealing with the funeral

It is up to the decedent to decide what they want for their funeral, burial and how they wish their body to get handled. However, it is up to the executor to ensure that things go according to their plans.

An executor will use the assets in the estate to pay for things like funeral arrangements, tombstones, urns and so on. However, they should always keep in mind that draining the estate of assets will leave fewer for beneficiaries.

Handling the bereaved

Speaking of, it is the executor’s job to divide the assets after probate and give them to the surviving loved ones of the decedent. This is an emotionally taxing job that requires social skills, so an individual should always choose their executor with this in mind.