It can be difficult to think about what happen after you pass, including what will happen with the distribution of your personal property. It is not easy to consider your own mortality and make decisions that may not come into effect until years or even decades later, but it is important to do so. Adults of all ages and income levels will benefit from having an estate plan in place. One important aspect of any estate plan is choosing a person to act as the executor of the estate.

The executor of the estate is the individual who will oversee the process of distributing your assets and following the terms of your estate plan. The designation of this person is an important decision, and it is one that can have an impact on your loved ones. It is helpful to fully understand the role of the executor before you make any changes to your estate plan.

What does the executor do?

The executor of an estate plays an important role, and it is not a small responsibility. Each person who is in this role must fulfill certain obligations and act in the interests of the estate. While the specific things the executor must do may differ slightly from case to case, this person may have the following responsibilities:

  • Locate the will and file with the local probate court
  • Notify creditors of the passing of the deceased
  • Locate, secure and value assets associated with the estate
  • Pay remaining debts associated with the estate and file remaining tax returns
  • Distribute any remaining assets to beneficiaries of the estate

This can be an immense and complex undertaking, especially if there are conflicts between heirs and beneficiaries. The executor is typically someone appointed by the decedent in his or her estate plan, but if he or she does not specifically mention one, the court may appoint someone to act in this capacity.

Making the best possible estate planning decisions

It is not easy to create an estate plan that addresses your immediate concerns and reflects your long-term needs. You may find it helpful to speak with an experienced Georgia professional regarding how you can create a strategy that allows you to protect your loved ones, as well as provide you with peace of mind and confidence for the future.