People often name close family members to be the executors of their estates. These are people they trust and love and not necessarily someone who has personal knowledge of the probate process. Executors have a very important responsibility for settling the estate in accordance with the will. This usually involves needing to go through the probate process, which requires different filings and meeting certain deadlines.
Probate is a court process to ensure that the estate is administered according to the wishes of the deceased as stated in the will. The executor needs to carry out the various tasks of settling the estate and then needs to provide reporting to the court who will ensure the executor settled the estate correctly.
Responsibilities of executors
Executors will need to perform the following tasks during the probate process:
- File all the appropriate paperwork for probate and meet the deadlines.
- Pay the debts and any taxes owed by the estate.
- Inventory all of the deceased’s property including valuing the property and providing an accounting of the estate.
- Distribute the property in the estate to the beneficiaries in accordance with the will.
This can not only be a complicated process, but it can also be a time-consuming one depending on the size of the estate. Executors may not have the time or expertise to complete all of the jobs they need to complete. However, ultimately it is their responsibility to complete.
Executors may be able to educate themselves on the probate process in New York as well as the tax laws and other factors of estate administration. However, people may not have the time to do this with all of their other responsibilities in life. An experienced attorney who understands the law and probate proceedings may be able to guide executors through the process.