The role of an executor during probate administration

What does an executor do? That may be a question that many Michigan residents have asked themselves after finding out that they have been named executors of loved ones' estates. The truth is, this really is a significant job, and how it is fulfilled can greatly affect the probate administration process.

The executor has many tasks that he or she is assigned to complete. These may include locating the will and/or other estate planning documents, gathering assets, notifying creditors of the deceased's passing, paying taxes and addressing any claims made against the estate -- among so many other things. With so much on one's plate, it can certainly feel like an overwhelming assignment -- one that not everyone will feel confident to take on.

Few people tend to know that, if they fail to fulfill their duties as executors properly, they can be held financially liable for any losses experienced by the beneficiaries. No one wants that to happen, but it so easily can. How can one avoid any potential backfires that result from poor decisions or failing to take the appropriate actions?

Thankfully, just because someone is put in charge of closing out an estate, it does not mean that he or she has to manage it all on his or her own. It is okay to seek assistance from a qualified third party if it is needed or desired. An attorney with experience working through the probate administration process would be a good source of information, guidance and even hands-on help if it is required by those residing in Michigan or elsewhere.

Source: FindLaw, "Checklist: The Executor's Role", Accessed on Aug. 15, 2017