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Common Duties of the Will Executor

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A Will executor is needed to settle decedent estates and ensure inheritance is passed along to relatives. Individuals designate the person they want to act as their personal representative by naming them in their last will and testament.
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  • Added: May, 02nd 2012
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  • Tags: will executor, probate process, duties of a will executor, estate administration duties, writing a will, selecting a personal representative, family disputes over inheritance property
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Common Duties of the Will Executor

A Will executor is needed to settle decedent estates and ensure inheritance is passed along to relatives.
Individuals designate the person they want to act as their personal representative by naming them in their
last will and testament.

The duties of a Will executor vary and depend upon what kind of estate planning methods is established
prior to death. Anytime a person dies without writing a Will the executor is appointed through probate

Probate is required for all estates within the U.S. However, there are a few exceptions to the rule. When
people transfer assets to a trust the estate can avoid probate because possessions are not actually owned by
the decedent.

Secondly, if the value of the estate is small it might qualify for probate exemption. Estate value
exemptions range from $25,000 to $75,000. A last Will must be in place to qualify. Instead of enduring
the probate process, exempt estates reconcile after passing through a confirmation period which is usually
45 days.

The majority of people ask relatives to settle their estate. Sometimes people ask their best friend, clergy,
or financial advisor. Regardless of who is selected, it's best to talk about it and see if they are willing or
able to take on duties.

When selecting a personal representative it's a good idea to think about potential problems. If family
members don't get along well there is a good chance someone will contest the Will. Unfortunately, death
can worsen tense family dynamics and create chaos for everyone.

Anytime there is probability of family disputes over inheritance property it's advisable to hire a probate
lawyer or estate planner. There are numerous strategies that can be set up to ensure property ends up with
the person you want to receive it.

It's a good idea to select two Will executors. Naming a primary and co-executor can ensure the estate can
be settled without delay if something prevents the primary executor from fulfilling duties.
WA 360- 527-2630 * CA 714 998-6888
Copyright (c) 2006 - 2012 * All rights reserved

Estate administration duties can be lessened by engaging in adequate estate planning. Essentially, Wills
provide directives regarding the kind of property you own, financial assets, life insurance policies, and
people who you want to receive your possessions. Settling probate estates is usually not a simple task, so
the more guidance offered through the Will the better.

Estate executors usually find it helpful to hire a lawyer or estate planner to help them get through the
probate process. While this isn't necessary it can save considerable time and frustration. Administration
duties include handling all financial aspects; obtaining property valuations; contacting creditors and
paying off debts; filing taxes; and passing along inheritance gifts to heirs.

Will executors are paid for the time required to settle the estate. A lot of people feel uneasy receiving
money, but realize probate estates can take hundreds of hours to complete. While not every case is
complex, it takes a lot of time to file paperwork and document everything related to the estate.

People often put estate planning on the back burner, but this can be a tragic mistake. Writing a Will and
taking steps to safeguard possessions is a great gift to give relatives. Doing so will make the probate
process much easier on everyone involved.

Whenever a person dies without estate planning their estate is settled in accordance with state probate
law. A Will executor is confirmed by the judge and the process is extended by a few months because extra
steps are necessary.
WA 360- 527-2630 * CA 714 998-6888
Copyright (c) 2006 - 2012 * All rights reserved

Common Duties of the Will Executor



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