What is an Executor or a Personal Representative?

An executor (or executrix if the person is a female) is the same thing as a personal representative. According to Wikiepedia, an executor “is a legal term referring to a person named by the maker of a will or nominated by the testator to carry out the instructions of the will.” In some locations, they are referred to as a personal representative, while in others, they are referred to as an executor. Regardless of the title, the responsibilities are the same. For simplicity, we will use the term executor.

The executor must take care of all financial obligations and dispose of all property. This often includes paying bills and taxes, selling personal property, and distributing the remaining assets among the heirs.

How is the Executor Chosen?

If the decedent does not name the executor in his/her will, then the court appoints someone to this role. S/he has the legal responsibility of taking care of a deceased person’s estate. Typically, the decedent names an executor in the will, but often there is no will. In this case, the court appoints someone as an Executor.

Who can be an Executor?

Oftentimes, the executor is a family member, but it can also be a friend or even an attorney.

What Requirements exist for an Executor?

An executor does not have to have any experience in legal or financial matters. The only legal requirement is that the executor act in the best interests of the estate and its heirs. Executors can be held legally responsible for failing to meet this obligation.

Where does an Executor Go for Help?

The executor’s role can be overwhelming. The executor has to handle numerous tasks properly – according to the law. The executor must maintain all property that belonged to the deceased. If this includes a house, automobile, and other valuables, this job can be very time-consuming. In addition, laws govern the way in which bills and taxes are paid and how property is distributed.

In addition to the practical aspects of settling an estate, an Executor is often dealing with emotional aspects of processing the death of a loved one. Clearly, being an executor can be an emotional and time-consuming process.

This is why we have created Probate Executors – to help executors and heirs through this confusing process. There are many professionals and services that an executor will need to utilize during the process of closing an estate. Probate Executors can help you through this process by having our Concierge guide you to the right team members and services at the right times.

Ready to Learn More?

Give us a call at 888-758-3185 or continue reading our blog articles for more information.


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