What Does an Executor Do? - Genser Cona Elder Law

Estate Administration, what you need to know.

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Estate Administration: What Does an Executor Do?

Once an executor is appointed by the court they have a number of duties and responsibilities, including collecting assets, selling assets, paying expenses and claims, and making distributions in accordance with your will or accordance with intestacy.

​You should be careful when you select your executor and make sure that they are a person with a good head on their shoulders. They don’t need to be a legal or financial expert. They can hire a lawyer or an accountant to help with that, but they should be generally good with money because they’re managing assets on behalf of other people. It’s not just theirs.

At the end of the estate administration process is an accounting. The executor or administrator prepares a document stating the assets, income, expenses and claims paid, along with a calculation of what remains and what the beneficiaries are going to receive. So it’s important for every executor and administrator to keep good records of everything they did as administrator or executor. The beneficiaries have a right to an accounting.

Most estates are settled informally with a short accounting and each of the beneficiaries signing a receipt and release without having to go to court.

However, sometimes disputes arise or a beneficiary insists on a full judicial accounting. They certainly have a right to it. This process is more time consuming and expensive, but is part of the normal process of estate administration.