By agreeing to become executor of an estate, an individual is taking on many responsibilities. As a result, the executor also has many legal right to help him or her successfully complete their task, which can be both time-consuming and difficult. Following are some rights of an executor of an estate.
- The executor of a will is, first and foremost, responsible for managing the entire estate of a deceased individual. This includes everything from wrapping up financial affairs (such as paying outstanding bills and taxes) to making sure that the wishes outlined in the will are fulfilled.
- All actions taken by the executor must follow the probate rules of the governing state. Please note that those rules do vary from state to state, as do the rights of an executor of an estate.
- An executor must ensure the decedent’s assets are safeguarded throughout the process. This includes property as well as all financial assets. Therefore, the executor has the right to obtain all information related to the deceased’s assets, including investments.
- The individual named as the executor of an estate also has the right to decline the position or even quit during the process if necessary. This would require approval of the probate court judge.
- An executor has the right to hire accountants, attorneys and other professionals, as needed, to ensure that the estate is properly managed.
- And finally, an executor has the right to be compensated for his or her work on behalf of the estate. Compensation laws also vary from state to state and can be a percentage of the overall estate or even an hourly rate.
If you have been named an executor in a will and accept the responsibilities of that role, you should make it a point to understand the rights of an executor of an estate before beginning the process. Consulting with an experienced Realtor or estate attorney is often a good first step. For more information, please do not hesitate to contact The Olear Team.