The executor in will is a legal representative of the deceased person and acts in accordance to the wishes of a testator as mentioned in the will, after the testator’s death. In simple terms, an executor in a will plays an important role in administering the estate of a deceased person. The executor shares a trustable bond with the beneficiary, meaning that the confidence of executing a will lies with the executor to act with care and skill in administering it.
Role Of An Executor
The duties of any executor will vary depending on the terms of the will. Basically, a general duty of the executor is to understand the order in which a property of a testator must be distributed. Being chosen as an executor can be an honor as well as a responsibility, depending on the complexity involved in administering the will. In case a person dies without a will, the court appoints a person called the administrator (executor) of the estate.
The duties of an executor are:
- Carrying out the terms mentioned in the will.
- Defending it when necessary.
- Applying for probate.
Appointing An Executor In Will
The creator of a will (Testator) must appoint an executor. An executor must be considered on the basis of trusted family member or friend. In circumstances where close family members or friends are unavailable or unwilling to execute a will, a trusted Lawyer must be appointed as an Executor. As an executor of a Will has multiple duties, the beneficiary is chosen as the executor.
While appointing an Executor for a Will the following must be kept in mind:
- The Executor must be over 18 years of age.
- The executor must be of sound mind.
Funeral arrangements must be made by the executor after the death of the testator. However, funeral expenses can be paid before obtaining probate. This is one of the key responsibilities of the executor and is usually carried out by the instructions specified in the Will.
The basis of arranging funeral ceremonies by the executor are:
- Respecting the wishes of the testator’s family and friends.
- Paying funeral expenses of the testator before administering the property to the beneficiaries.
Probate is a legal document that is required to authorize the executor of a Will to legally manage the deceased person’s property. From obtaining the will to locating the exact beneficiaries, the executor is required to obtain a probate of the will and testament of the testator. An application for probate to the court must be made within 6 months of the testator’s death. Until probate is granted, the assets of the testator will be frozen and unable to be delivered to the beneficiaries.
Handing Over Property To The Beneficiary
An Executor takes care of 2 important goals before distributing the property of the testator to the beneficiary.
Administering The Property
Following the grant of probate from the Court, the executor must open a bank account in the name of the deceased estate and deposit all assets into it. This enables debts and liabilities like outstanding tax and administration cost that needs to be paid before handing over the property to the beneficiaries.
Preserving The Property
Before distribution of property to the beneficiary, it is important that the executor preserves the property in a way that safeguards its assets. One primary way of preserving the property is to ensure that the estate is administered keeping in mind the time limit, usually within a 6 month period. Legal advice must be sought especially in situations where the property consists of valuable real property that need to be sold on the current market value.
Distributing The Property
Ultimately, the process of safeguarding a property by the executor ends by distributing it to the beneficiary in accordance with the will. A distribution report/ document must be drafted by the executor that the property has been directed successfully to the beneficiary including the debts that were paid off prior to administration.
Create A Will
Carrying out the role of an executor is not is not a daunting task. Legal advice must be sought when administering highly valuable wills and estates. LegalDesk.com helps you create wills, probate wills, joint wills etc. Registration of a will is not compulsory, but it is recommended. We promise safe custody, secrecy and efficient execution of all our client’s wills. Don’t have a will yet? Secure your interests by making one as soon as possible. Try our service now!