If you've ever considered putting an estate plan together, you've probably heard a number of terms thrown around, from probates and trusts to powers of attorney and inheritance planning. In all likelihood, you have a basic idea of what these mean, but knowing an exact definition can be invaluable in determining how to move forward with your estate plan. With that in mind, let's take a look at the definition of an executor and some of the ways in which an executor can help you make sure your wishes are carried out in the event of death.
So, first things first: an executor is someone you appoint to look after your finances and possessions after you pass away. In basic terms, this means paying off debts and distributing assets according to your stated wishes. An executor can be a close friend, a family member or an attorney, essentially anyone you find trustworthy.
More specifically, an executor's duties can be any of the following as well:
- An executor files the appropriate court documents, including the will.
- If probating the will is necessary, the executor will be in charge of this as well.
- The executor is charged with finding and watching over the person's assets. This includes making decisions about what to sell and what to keep.
- The executor will make any weekly or monthly payments necessary during the will's administration.
- There are two things we can count on in life: death and taxes. An executor is in charge of paying the decedent's income taxes.
- The executor may need to close bank accounts, stop Social Security benefits and cancel any credit cards.
Of course, this is just a brief overview. If you have any questions about appointing an executor or making an estate plan, you may want to speak with an attorney.