Today, we will examine the process of appointing an executor after death.

In a high percentage of cases, an executor of an estate is named in the will left behind by a deceased individual. However, there are some cases where an executor is not named, and yet other scenarios where there is no will left behind.

In such cases where there is no will or no executor named, an individual can petition the court to become executor assuming you can fulfill the requirement of the state. For example, some states require an executor to be at least 18 years of age, of sound mind, with no felony convictions and reside in the same state as the deceased individual.

The role of the executor is vital and it should never be taken lightly. Following are some very basic guidelines for appointing an executor after death (of a friend or loved one):

  • Contact the probate court where the deceased individual lived or owned real estate and ask for instructions on how to proceed. Keep in mind that these rules vary from state to state.
  • Review the assets of the deceased individual to come up with an estimate of their value.
  • Gather information and items such as the death certificate, filing fee, your identification and the asset estimate, and provide them to the probate court.
  • Complete a petition for administration, being sure to answer all questions, and have it notarized.
  • File the petition, pay the filing fee and follow any instructions offered by the court.

If and when the court grants your petition to serve, it will then issue to you the appropriate documents officially naming you the executor of the will.

A much easier path to executorship is to have a discussion with your friend or relative while they are still of sound mind and health, so that the appointment can be documented in the individual’s will. This will save much time and effort down the road.

For more information, please contact an experienced estate attorney or the real estate professionals at The Olear Team today!