The executor is the person in charge of carrying out the last will and testament of someone who has passed away. It is a crucial component of estate planning that helps to ensure that the assets of the recently deceased are properly managed and preserved. It also guarantees that those assets are received by the correct heirs and beneficiaries. Because of this, it is essential that someone trustworthy and responsible is named as the executor. If you are curious about estate planning and management, reach out to the Butler County estate planning and probate attorneys at Heritage Elder Law & Estate Planning, LLC. for more information.
What are the responsibilities of an executor?
The primary responsibility of an executor is to make sure they are always acting in the best interests of the deceased person’s estate and their beneficiaries. This can include a wide variety of duties that could fall under their purview. For example, the executor will need to make sure that all remaining financial affairs and obligations of the recently departed are sufficiently resolved. This may involve informing multiple entities about the person’s date of death in order to end payments, begin receiving benefits, or possibly change where certain payments and benefits will be allocated to. This also includes facilitating payments for any remaining debts as well as estate taxes.
The executor must also ensure that the assets of the deceased person’s estate are all in order. This could mean tracking down any missing assets or even ensuring other secured assets are actually accessible. In addition, an executor must also find and contact any beneficiaries named in the will of the departed. Once they have been contacted or found, the executor must ensure that they receive whatever was granted to them. However, if there are any assets or property left with no specified beneficiary, it is the executor’s responsibility to follow Pennsylvania state law regarding their distribution.
How do I choose the person to administer my estate?
When it comes to choosing an executor, there are very few restrictions to keep in mind in Pennsylvania state. The only requirements necessary to name an executor is if they’re over the age of 18 and mentally capable. Pennsylvania does not have any restrictions regarding anyone with a criminal record being named as an executor.
Traditionally, most people name family members or close loved ones like children, siblings, friends, or spouses as their executors. However, it is important to keep in mind that being an executor requires a lot of responsibility and organizational skills. Choosing the right person for the role is paramount.