Will Executor Duties FAQ
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Will Executor Duties FAQ

An executor plays a very crucial part following the testator (the person to whom the will relates) passing away, including the duties of finding assets, paying liabilities, and making sure beneficiaries designated in the will obtain the property in which they are entitled to. The following are answers to frequently asked questions concerning a will executor’s duties.

What Is an Executor?

An executor is an individual appointed by the court, usually nominated in the will, that is given the legal responsibility to take care of a decedent’s remaining financial responsibilities. Meaning taking care of everything from the disposal of property to paying taxes and bills. Most executors are immediate relatives, with spouses, children, and parents being the most general executors.

What Are Executors Generally Responsible for Doing?

Executors, as part of disbanding an estate, is going to usually perform the following tasks, with the money to carry out these duties coming from the estate itself:

  • Dispensing assets in accordance with the will
  • Maintaining property until the estate is settled (for instance housekeeping)
  • Paying the estates bills
  • Paying the estates taxes
  • Be present at court for the estate

Is an Executor Required To Serve or Can They Decline the Responsibility?

The individual appointed as an executor in a will can refuse the responsibility that being an executor involves. Additionally, someone that initially accepted the role as executor can renounce at any time. Consequently, it is commonly recommended that you appoint alternative executors, otherwise a court is going to appoint a substitute executor if your initial choice withdraws for some reason.

Do Executors Get Paid?

Typically, most executors carry out their tasks without payment, but they are entitled to payment. The reasoning most executors don’t ask to be compensated is that most executors are close relatives and carry out their duties as a sign of respect for the departed. The amount an executor gets paid is established by state statutes and what a probate court determined is rational given the circumstances.

Do Executors Need To Hire a Lawyer?

A lot of wills are somewhat routine, straightforward and require no particular knowledge. Even when a will proceeds through probate court, the documentation required doesn’t require a legal degree. Nevertheless, if there are challenges, convoluted property issues, considerable tax debt, etc., then an executor should give serious thought of getting professional assistance in the form of a lawyer. An executor might use a lawyer as a resource for asking legal questions, or the executor might turn the whole probate process over to them.

Have Concerns Regarding Executing a Will? A Lawyer Can Set Your Mind at Rest.

Even though a lot of wills are somewhat routine and straightforward, if there are considerable tax debt and financial deliberations, then employing someone such as a CPA or an estate planning lawyer may be beneficial. Be mindful that executors may hire lawyers and pay them with returns from the estate. Locate a local estate planning lawyer near you today.


  1. Staff, F. L. (2022, December 8). Will executor duties FAQ. FindLaw. Retrieved December 13, 2022, from https://www.findlaw.com/forms/resources/estate-planning/last-will-and-testament/will-executor-duties-faq.html

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