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What to do when you are named the executor of a will

On Behalf of | Apr 28, 2023 | Probate

An estate plan needs an executor to ensure the testator’s wishes are fulfilled. If you are named an executor of a loved one’s will and accept the appointment, you should be well informed about your duties. Although rarely discussed, being an executor can be overwhelming. But a few tips can help you.

This guide provides you with two things to consider doing.

Ask questions

As soon as your loved one asks you to be their executor, you should ask some questions to serve effectively. Examples of questions to ask are: 

  • What are the assets and liabilities? 
  • How complex is the estate? 
  • Do you own and where are the digital assets? 
  • Who do you trust? 
  • Where will you keep the will? 
  • Does the will have funeral instructions?

After your loved one is gone, you may be wise to with specialists who can help you understand legal procedures, estate management, how to pay debts and so on. Examples of questions to ask them are: 

  • How can I manage the properties/keep them in good condition before distribution? 
  • What is the probate process? 
  • How can I respond to a complaint/contest?

These and more questions will help you obtain the needed information to help your loved one’s wishes be fulfilled. 

Stay updated

The testator will update their plan when things change, and they will inform you when they do this and may give you a copy of the updated one. You should go through the changes made and ensure you understand them. If you need more information, always ask questions.

Performing executor functions before and during probate can be complicated. However, being informed and staying updated from the beginning can make your work more manageable. It may also help to get legal guidance when you take the will to probate.