If your loved one has just passed on, you might be wondering who will oversee the probate process and make sure assets are evenly distributed among heirs. The court will supervise the process, but the executor will gather the assets together and distribute them.
Who Is the Executor?
An executor of an estate is often appointed in the will of the deceased person. The deceased may ask a loved one prior to writing the will if that person would be willing to be the executor of the estate. If that person is not formally asked before the individual passes away, he or she might find out from the court after the death.
If someone dies intestate, or without a will in place, the court will appoint an executor from the surviving family members. Whether outlined in a will or appointed by a judge, the court will have to make you official.
After Becoming Executor
After you are officially appointed executor of your loved one’s estate, the probate process will begin. You’ll start by requesting probate and filing a death certificate. If the deceased had a will, that will also need to be filed with the court. You should then start notifying beneficiaries and creditors. This could include publishing the probate notice in a newspaper, mailing out notices and otherwise contacting them.
Another step that will need to be taken is proving the validity of the will. The notary who was present at the time the will was originally signed can help you with this.
During probate, it’s essential you protect the assets of the deceased. These assets will soon belong to beneficiaries and you should assist them in receiving what they deserve. You will more than likely open a bank account for specifically dealing with estate money. You’ll contact the IRS for an employer identification number. Income tax returns will need to be prepared and assets should be appraised.
Permission to Distribute Property
After you have offered proof of mailing notices and completed all the paperwork necessary, the court will grant you permission to distribute the property. You should obtain receipts for assets distributed to new owners.
Finishing the Job
When the executor has finished all the probate work, he or she can approach the court and request to be released. It may seem like a huge job, but when an executor works with a probate lawyer, it can be made simpler. Contact your lawyer today to get started with the probate process so you and your loved ones can start moving forward again.