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Understanding the role of an executor in closing your estate

On Behalf of | May 3, 2021 | Estate planning |

When you delegate responsibilities to your executor, you hope that he or she will acknowledge your wishes and live up to your expectations. Providing clear and concise instructions can facilitate the successful closure of your estate.

Outlining specific responsibilities and sharing your intentions can improve your executor’s understanding and confidence.

Executor characteristics

The role of an executor requires personal commitment, ethical conduct and superior communication skills. Because there are often many moving parts to closing an estate, you will want to rely on someone who demonstrates organizational skills. The person you choose will likely work closely with your family so empathy and compassion are other valuable qualities to look for.

Given that an executor will have access to sensitive personal information and financial assets, you will want someone with integrity. In addition, CNBC suggests finding someone who works well under pressure and whose lifestyle would enable them to manage extra responsibilities outside of personal commitments.

Executor duties

Your executor will have a number of responsibilities ranging from helping to coordinate your funeral or memorial service to working with creditors to satisfy any outstanding debts in your name. Other duties may include the following:

  • Obtaining a death certificate
  • Maintaining and selling real estate assets
  • Paying taxes
  • Distributing assets to beneficiaries

After verifying the willingness of your executor to act on your behalf, provide periodic updates on the status of your estate. When significant life changes alter your strategy or affect the participants in your plan, inform your executor so you can provide as much clarity as possible prior to your death.