What to Do as Soon as You Are Appointed Executor of an Estate

You have just learned that you have been appointed the executor of an estate. You may be both honored and concerned. You may have never been the executor of an estate before. What are you supposed to do? How are you supposed to carry out your duties?

Where Do You Even Start?

You are right to ask these questions because being the executor of an estate is a big responsibility. However, it is possible to do a good job without being completely overwhelmed by the day-to-day tasks. Specifically, as soon as you learn of your appointment and accept the job of executor, it is important to:

  • Obtain a copy of the will and all accompanying estate plan documents. You need to know what is expected of you and how the property is supposed to be distributed.
  • Put all deadlines on your calendar. There are specific deadlines that an executor must comply with and it is important that you don’t miss any of them.
  • Make sure that you understand your responsibilities and how to be an effective executor. As an executor you have a fiduciary duty to carry out the terms of the will and estate documents. Thus, it is important that you understand what that duty means and the exact steps that you need to take to fulfill that duty.

As you get started, it is important to make sure that you have copies of the latest will and estate documents and that you have an accurate understanding of your fiduciary duty and specific responsibilities.

Now Is the Time to Get the Information

You can get a general understanding of your duty and responsibilities by browsing the free articles, videos, and other resources available on our website. You can also get the specific information that you need to make the right decisions about implementing the estate plan by contacting one of our experienced lawyers directly.

This is a big responsibility. However, with the right support it is one that you can carry out effectively for your friend or relative.

 

James F. Roberts
Founder and owner of the Law Office of James F. Roberts and Associates, a premiere estate planning law firm