10 Duties of a Executor of a Will
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10 Duties of an Executor of a Will

As an executorship of a will involves tons of obligations and responsibilities. The following are the basics so you will know what to expect.

Being selected as an executor is equally an honor and a commitment. Prior to accepting, you should make sure you understand what you’re getting yourself into. Generally speaking, you’ll be allocating the decedent’s property and arranging for the paying of estate debts and expenditures.

Responsibilities and Obligations of an Executor

Executors are legally responsible for resolving the finances of the decedent, usually making sure debts and taxes are settled and what is left over is properly allocated to the heirs.

  • State law differs on the requirements of the person that can serve as executors, but usually, executors come from the ranks of a families—spouses, adult children, living parents, and brothers and sisters.

Even though state laws furnish for the executor’s payment, because a lot of executors are close family members, they usually don’t request for compensation.

Besides executing duties in an attentive, unbiased and truthful manner, an executor might also be obligated to carry out any or all of the following, amongst others:

1. Acquire a Copy of the Will and Get it Filed With the Local Probate Court

The executor is responsible for locating, reading and comprehending the will—generally, even if probate isn’t required, the will should still be filed within the probate court. At this point, the executor also establishes who is going to inherit the property.

2. Notify Financial Institutions, Credit Card Companies, and Governmental Agencies of the Decedent’s Passing

The Administration of Social Security, in addition to the decedent’s financial institutions and credit card companies, are just some instances of who needs to be notified of the passing.

3. Determine What Kind of Probate Is Required

Since inheritance laws might expedite the passing of specific properties outside of probate (like property held jointly by two spouses), probate isn’t always required. Furthermore, the value of the estate might allow it to pass through an accelerated process. When probate is necessary, you are required to file a petition with the court to be named an executor. You are going to likely require an attorney’s assistance to achieve this.

4. Represent the Estate in a Court

An executor might be required to be present in court on the estate’s behalf.

5. Establish a Financial Institution Account for Incoming Funds and Pay Any Current Bills

When the deceased is owed money like incoming paychecks, this account is able to retain them. The executor needs to be on the watch for any mortgages, utilities and comparable bills that still are required to be paid during the probate process.

6. File a Catalog of the Estate’s Assets With the Court

In a lot of states, the court has a requirement that the executor submit a thorough catalog of the assets held in the probate estate.

7. Uphold the Property Until It Can Be Allocated or Sold

This comprises of upholding a house until it is allocated to heirs or sold- even determining if the property is required to be sold at all. Additionally, an executor needs to be sure to locate all personal belongings in the estate and safeguard it until allocation. If the deceased had a safety deposit box, the executor should find it and keep it protect.

8. Pay the Estate’s Debts and Taxes

State law mandates the process for notifying creditors, and the estate is also required to file income tax returns from the first of the present year until the date of the decedent’s passing. When the estate is big enough, there could be state and/or federal estate taxes to pay in addition.

9. Allocate Assets

Allocation happens according to the wishes declared in the will. If there isn’t a will, state intestacy laws are implemented.

10. Disposal of Other Property

When there is any property remaining following the estate’s debts being paid off and allocation to heirs, the executor is responsible for its disposal.

Because estates vary greatly in size and convolution, and executor’s duty might may be easy or difficult to execute- and responsibilities might very well go further than the ten primary items in this list. But whereas an executor can refuse the position or step down at any point throughout the process, occasionally all that is required is some legal counsel. Speaking with an attorney is typically to make sure that the executor correctly complies with their duties.


  1. Michelle Kaminsky, E. (2021, February 11). Top 10 duties of an executor of a will. LegalZoom. https://www.legalzoom.com/articles/the-other-side-of-the-will-top-10-duties-of-an-executor.

Estate Planning Attorney in Phoenix, Arizona

Here at Ogborne Law, we are proud to include estate planning among our services. Your estate planning attorney will work closely with you to draw up all the documents you’ll need to communicate your wishes to the court. We’ll take the time to answer all of your questions and guide you through this important process. If you’re ready to start your consultation with Ogborne Law, visit our Estate Planning Consultation request page.

There are so many aspects to consider in estate planning, and we haven’t even touched on those individuals who own a business!

You’ve worked hard for your life, and you need to protect it. You owe it to your family and your legacy to take care of planning now.

Contact Ogborne Law to schedule your estate-planning session.

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