The role and responsibilities of the executor of an estate

| May 27, 2021 | Estate Planning

The loss of a loved one can be devastating for a North Carolina family. Family members must handle various sensitive and complex matters after a death, including handling the estate of the decedent. He or she likely left behind property and assets, and a will can outline what should happen to those things. Wills go through probate, and an individual either appointed by the court or named in the will acts as the administrator of the estate. This individual is the executor.  

What does the executor do? 

The executor acts as the representative of the estate. He or she has the responsibility of overseeing things like locating heirs, gathering estate assets, paying remaining debts and much more. It can be a lengthy and difficult process, but the following may help one understand what to expect: 

  • First, the executor must file the appropriate things with the court to open the estate. This includes the will and a certificate of death. 
  • The executor should secure assets, like closing up the house, protecting valuable property and more. 
  • During probate, the executor should keep all paperwork and documentation as organized as possible. 
  • Once everything else is complete, the executor will then oversee the process of distributing assets as outlined in the will.  

Knowing what to expect may help avoid costly and stressful conflicts and complications.  

Help at every step 

One does not have to go through the process of settling an estate alone. There is significant benefit in working with an experienced North Carolina attorney at every step. This guidance can provide invaluable assistance to an executor of an estate during the administration process.