An executor (or administrator when there is no will) can be thought of as the “CEO of the Probate.” It is a crucial legal and personal responsibility.
The role of an executor
An executor serves as the personal representative of the estate and sees to it that the will and the law are followed. Where there is no will, an administrator sees to it that assets and liabilities (i.e., taxes) are managed according to the law. The executor works to represent the estate from the time of death (or later in some cases) until probate is complete.
The duties of the executor
The executor must gather, manage, and protect estate assets before they are distributed to the beneficiaries. This often includes paying any debts the deceased left behind and paying several different types of taxes. The executor must also inform government agencies about the decedent’s death. Failure to properly notify such agencies could result in personal liability to the executor. This is why it is important to enlist an experienced probate to assist the executor in administering the decedent’s estate.