What You Need to Know About Being the Executor of a Will

Being asked to be the Executor on behalf of a loved one is often viewed as a sign of honour and respect.

It can also be an incredibly stressful experience if you are ill-prepared. If you are asked to be an Executor, do you know what your responsibilities will be?

An Executor has specific duties and responsibilities to undertake. If you ever find yourself in the position of taking on the role and responsibilities of Executor, you may want to familiarize yourself with what you will need to do. Many Executors are chosen on the basis of a) having a previous established (close) relationship based on trust with the person creating the Last Will and Testament, and b) knowledge of the financial matters pertaining to the role.

We will list the responsibilities and tasks an Executor takes on  further down below (although this is by no means an exhaustive list).

Your Responsibilities as an Executor:

  • Taking care of funeral/memorial service(s) and cremation(s)
  • Locating the beneficiaries/heirs and letting them know of their inheritance
  • Inventorying any safety deposit box content (if one is owned by the deceased)
  • Inventorying all assets, debt and liabilities
  • Ensure that all property in the name of the deceased is insured
  • Surveying and overseeing any real estate owned by the deceased
  • Possibly selling off estate/assets owned by the deceased
  • Paying off all debts and expenses owed by the estate of the deceased
  • Responsibility for overseeing and dealing with any lawsuits against the estate
  • Setting up any trusts for minor children
  • Preparing financial statements
  • Dispersing the property of the deceased as per the directions laid out in the Will

An Executor’s duties and responsibilities can be extensive, time-consuming and cause a significant amount of stress. If you prepare yourself by taking the time to understand the tasks you will be required to perform, the role of an Executor can be a more straightforward and less stressful.

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