What are the benefits of being an executor of a will?

What does an executor do? 

The executor of an estate is responsible for shepherding an estate through the probate process, following the instructions of the probate court (and the law) and the will to ensure a proper final administration of the decedent’s estate.  An executor usually enlists help in completing the executor duties.  Of course, people like an estate attorney and an accountant can be helpful, but there are also tools like Executor.org’s customized plan that can guide you along each step of the executor responsibilities, providing valuable advice and insights along the way.  You should at least understand your basic duties as an executor before accepting the role. 

What about my expenses and the value of my time when I serve in the executor role?

Executors don’t have to pay all of the expenses related to the estate administration themselves.  The estate’s assets cover expenses like paying the estate attorney, paying the bills at the decedent’s house before it sells, etc.  Of course, an executor needs to keep records of all of these expenses and may be asked to provide this to the probate court.  

An executor can also be compensated for the time it takes to complete the executor duties, or receive a flat fee for serving in the executor role.  But an executor does not have to take compensation if they don’t want to.  

So what are the benefits of being an executor of a will?

Serving in the executor role is a task many people take as a way to honor a person they cared about after they died.  For some, it is a comfort to know that they are fulfilling the wishes of the deceased.  Others serve in the executor role to be helpful. As an executor, you can help keep the process moving along if you are organized and use your time wisely.  The probate court will move at it’s own pace, but following your Executor plan can help things move forward smoothly, allowing you to both honor the deceased and help those he or she named as beneficiaries of their estate.   

Can you decline to be an executor?

But just because you are named as an executor doesn’t mean you have to accept the role.  There are many reasons someone might decline to be an executor including things like they cannot devote the time necessary, because they cannot properly grieve while serving in the role, or because they don’t feel comfortable taking on the responsibility at the time.  The decision to accept or decline the role of executor is an important one. Learn the basics, make an informed decision, then do your best to honor your loved one should you accept it.

Executor.org is designed to assist executors with every step in the executor duties.  We also provide helpful tips for assembling a great team to assist with every aspect of the estate.  An executor is never alone in the execution of their duties, and with the right people beside them, the executor can successfully complete the estate administration.