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What is an Executor of Estate?

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What is an Executor of Estate?

An executor of estate is a person who is specifically appointed to manage one’s estate in the event that they become deceased or otherwise incapacitated. This person is usually mentioned in a legal document such as a will or other estate planning document. However, in the event that no such person is named, the court may appoint a person to act as an executor.

What Does an Executor of Estate Do?

Some duties of the executor of estate may include:

  • Identifying and categorizing the various properties, assets, and monies that will be included in the overall estate
  • Managing property distributions according to wills, trusts, and other financial management mechanisms
  • Reporting and initiating conflict resolution of any estate disputes
  • Arranging for probate proceedings after the estate holder’s death (if applicable)
  • Managing day-to-day affairs of the estate
  • Various other tasks as specifically mentioned by the estate holder

In addition to these duties, the executor may also appoint tasks according to very specific instructions. For instance, they may also include instructions for the executor’s role in the event that they become ill or incapacitated. They may then appoint the executor to be in charge while they are recovering from the illness. This all depends on the individual needs and preferences of the estate holder.

What Happens if the Executor Breaches Legal Duties?

Being an executor generally implies being bound to a number of duties and restrictions that will help ensure that the estate is treated properly. For instance, the executor can’t mix the estate funds with their own money, and they can’t use the estate property for their own benefit. Likewise, the executor will sometimes be required to make investments using the estate property, according to sound business judgment.

If the executor breaches their duties, it could lead to a removal of the executor from their position. A judge may appoint another person to take the executor’s place. If the executor’s actions have caused financial losses to one of the beneficiaries or to the testator, they may be required to pay a damages award to make up for the losses.

Should I Hire a Lawyer for Assistance with Estate Executor Laws?

Serving as an executor of an estate can often be a demanding task. You may need to hire a lawyer if you have any questions or inquiries regarding estate executor duties. You may also hire a lawyer if you need help when it comes to appointing an executor for your own estate. A qualified estates attorney in your area can help you select the person who is best suited to serve as executor. Also, your lawyer can provide legal representation if you need to go to court over a legal issue.

Photo of page author Jose Rivera

, LegalMatch Legal Writer

Last Modified: 09-05-2013 04:21 PM PDT

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