Grieving families must face the task of settling the estate of a loved one after his or her death. This can be a difficult process during a time of loss and transition, and the executor has the responsibility of overseeing the necessary steps to complete this task. If you or someone in your family is the executor of an estate, it will be helpful to first understand what responsibilities this individual has, along with his or her role during probate and the estate administration process.
In a will, a testator can appoint someone to act as the executor of his or her estate. Often, this is a trusted friend or family member. This should be someone reliable and responsible as he or she must fulfill the duties and obligations associated with this task. This person will play an important role in ensuring that beneficiaries and heirs receive what is rightfully theirs, as well as handle remaining matters associated with the estate.
The role of the executor
The role of the executor is an important one, and it can be an overwhelming task to complete. You will be responsible for many important things that must be complete before it will be possible to distribute assets and close the estate. Some of the things you will have to do as the executor include:
- Maintaining estate property until settlement of the estate, including upkeep of the house, paying taxes on property and more
- Paying bills still associated with the estate, including utilities on property
- Paying taxes associated with the estate, including back taxes and property taxes on real estate
- Making court appearances on behalf of the estate
After the completion of the probate process and other steps, such as locating assets and paying off remaining debts, the executor will oversee the distribution of assets from the estate as outlined by the terms of the will and other estate planning documents. This is the last step, after which the executor has no remaining requirements associated with the estate.
Protect your interests
As the executor of a Minnesota estate, you would be wise to learn about your rights and responsibilities in this position. When you understand the requirements and expectations associated with this role, you will be less likely to experience setbacks and complications that could cost you time and extend the process unnecessarily.