So What Exactly is an “Executor?”

Patrick O’Brien - April 15, 2015

An executor is a representative of the estate of a deceased person. An executor may be legally responsible for the final administration of the deceased’s estate. By definition, the executor is likely in charge of protecting the assets in the estate–everything from money to a bank account to the contents of a home. An executor is likely also responsible for filing the will with the probate court. At the court’s direction, the executor will then distribute the assets of the estate to the beneficiaries (those named in the will to receive the assets).

Depending on the will and/or the court, the executor may be eligible to be compensated for the work. The estate will pay for all the costs incurred in the final settlement of the estate, including compensating the executor (within established guidelines). Generally speaking, the executor must act with “good faith.” If an executor is found to not act according to this standard there may be legal repercussions. If you are uncomfortable serving as executor, you are able to decline the responsibility and the probate judge will appoint a replacement.

Executor.org can assist you through each step of the executor role. We can help you understand the responsibilities and duties of the executor role at each step along the way. We’ll help you track your progress, and you can utilize our spreadsheets to keep track of important financial details. It’s a wonderful tool to help you in your executor duties. And, since you can save your work, you can start today and just do a little at a time, as you are able to do so. Think of it as an executor checklist — but a whole lot more helpful!  Click here to get started.