An essential part of estate planning is nominating a willing and competent executor. An executor is solely responsible for carrying out the terms of your Will after you pass away. This can include taking control of assets, paying debts, and distributing property to the rightful heirs.
Most people have never served in this role before and need guidance on the relevant laws. A Wake Forest estate administration lawyer can help executors fulfill their duties and successfully navigate the probate process. Additionally, a skilled attorney could even serve as an executor if they are nominated.
The purpose of probate is to authenticate and carry out the terms of a Will. To initiate the process, any party may submit a Will to the court after a person’s death. The Will should nominate an executor, but if it does not, the court will appoint one.
The role of an executor is to ensure that the terms of the Will are carried out. First, the executor must use the estate funds to pay all relevant debts. This may involve creating an estate bank account to hold funds. Second, the executor will distribute the remaining estate funds among the beneficiaries, according to the terms of the Will. This may require the sale of assets or the transference of real estate ownership or business interests.
According to North Carolina General Statutes § 28A-13-2, the executor has a general duty to act in good faith for the estate. This includes an obligation to settle the estate while sacrificing as little of its value as possible. An executor who fails in this duty may face censure by the court as well as lawsuits by the heirs under the Will. Clearly, this duty should not be taken lightly.
If you were named as an executor, a Wake Forest estate administration attorney can provide useful advice and instructions. A skilled lawyer can examine the language of the Will, interpret the relevant laws, and recommend steps to take when administering the estate.
Executors play a vital role in the proper administration of an estate. For this reason, especially if a person has a complex Will, they may want to nominate an executor who is experienced in handling estates and understands the local laws. An attorney may be able to fulfill this function.
In certain situations, an estate administration lawyer may be willing to serve as the executor of a Wake Forest estate. Attorneys can make effective executors because they deeply understand the rights and responsibilities of executors. An executor with a legal background is well-equipped to interpret the orders of the court, take the necessary steps to pay creditors, and distribute assets and property. Consult a nearby estate administration attorney to see if this is a valid option.
Every estate needs an executor. Whether a person is nominated in a Will or takes on this burden as the result of a court order, an executor has a duty to perform their job responsibly. This includes paying debts, distributing property, and following all court orders.
If you were named as an executor, a Wake Forest estate administration lawyer can provide essential help. An attorney can explain your role, identify the necessary steps to fulfill your obligations, and guide you in the right direction. Contact our legal team today to set up an initial strategy meeting.