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Heritage Tree LogoDoes a Beneficiary Have Any Legal Responsibilities?

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As you know, creating an estate plan is a critical part of life, as doing so can help ensure that your assets are passed on as you would have intended, among other things. One of the most common estate planning documents is a will, and many people create wills to clearly illustrate which loved ones they want to get which assets of theirs after they pass away. The loved ones who are to receive said assets are known as beneficiaries, and the party who is in control of ensuring assets are distributed in accordance with their loved one’s wishes is the executor. Whether you are an executor or a beneficiary, you are most likely wondering about your responsibilities in the legal process ahead. Please continue reading and speak with our Pennsylvania estate planning attorneys to learn more. Here are some of the questions you may have:

What does a beneficiary have to do?

Fortunately, in most cases, as a beneficiary, you have very little responsibility. All you will have to do is receive the assets of which the decedent assigned to you in his or her will. However, if you find yourself in a situation where you believe that the executor appointed to distribute these assets is behaving inappropriately, dishonestly, or is otherwise trying to hide or conceal assets from you, you can take action by filing a motion with the courts to have the executor or estate administrator removed from his or her position. From here, you can then take over as the executor or administrator of the estate.

What does an executor have to do during the estate administration process?

If you are an executor of an estate, you will most likely have multiple obligations that you need to fulfill. To start, your main objective is to ensure that the decedent’s will is carried out according to his or her wishes. This means ensuring that all beneficiaries receive the assets the decedent specified they are to receive. However, it is also your legal obligation to ensure that all debts and liabilities left behind by the decedent are paid off. Additionally, in many cases, you will have to see the will through the probate process, which can be quite complicated at times. This is why if you are the executor of an estate, it is critical that you retain the services of an experienced Pennsylvania estate administration attorney today. Our firm is always here to help.


Whether you are dealing with matters involving estate planning, estate administration, or elder law, you need a legal team that you can feel confident will represent your best interests, every step of the way. We are that legal team. Contact Heritage Elder Law & Estate Planning today so we can get started.

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