How Probate Lawyers Help Executors
Probate lawyers can provide invaluable assistance to executors who have been put in charge of managing the estate of the deceased. An executor is named in a last will and testament by the deceased, and is given enormous responsibility when he or she is assigned this role. While you can refuse to be an executor if you are not interested in taking on the duties of managing and winding up the estate, most people who are named as an executor choose to carry out the role that the deceased has assigned to them.
As you try to grieve your loved one, it is difficult to be thrown into the complex probate process. The good news is, you do not have to handle everything on your own. You can consult with probate lawyers who can provide legal representation and who can guide you through all of the steps you need to take to make sure the will is probated properly.
Zimmer Law Firm offers assistance to executors and our compassionate and knowledgeable attorneys will be there for you at every stage of probate to ensure that you can fulfill your duties and carry out the wishes of your friend or relative who has passed away. Contact our Montgomery Ohio probate lawyers today to learn more about the assistance that we can offer you.
Probate Lawyers Offer Guidance to Executors as a Will is Probated
An executor has a fiduciary duty, which is the highest duty that exists within the legal system. Living up to your fiduciary obligations is important, and getting the right legal advice will help you to do that. Your attorney can advise you on all of your obligations under the law, as well as all of the different steps that need to be taken to get the probate process underway and successfully completed.
As the executor of the estate, it will be your job to determine if probate is even necessary. It generally is, but sometimes a decedent has taken steps to allow for the transfer of some or all of his assets outside of probate. If probate is required, you will need to file the appropriate paperwork with the court to get the process started and you will need to oversee the entire probate process.
It is also your job to gather all of the assets that are a part of the estate, to arrange for any necessary valuations of property, and to manage money and assets during the probate process. Bills must continue to be paid, like a home mortgage and property taxes and utilities, and the executor generally assumes responsibility for paying the bills until the property can be transferred to heirs. The executor may need to set up a bank account for the estate, which money that continues to come in can be deposited into and which bills can be paid out of. In some cases, executors will make decisions to sell securities or other investments so that the money in the estate is managed wisely. The executor must always act in the best interests of the estate, and never for personal enrichment.
Executors not only manage property in the estate, but also take on the responsibility of providing notice of the death to everyone who has to be notified. Creditors need to be informed of the death and given the chance to make claims on the estate and the executor will need to make any required debt payments. Contracts like leases that the deceased was a party to may need to be terminated. The Social Security Administration, the Department of Veteran’s Affairs and other government agencies will need to be informed of the death. The executor has to take care of all of these technical details.
Finally, the executor will go to court for probate proceedings, will respond to any challenges made against the will, and will oversee the distribution of the estate property to the heirs who are supposed to inherit.
Get Help from a Montgomery Probate Lawyer Today
Serving as an executor of an estate is a big job, and the specific duties you have will vary based on the assets the deceased owned, the size of the estate, and many other factors. Executors need to ensure that they understand all of their duties and get appropriate help carrying them out. Montgomery probate lawyers at The Zimmer Law Firm can provide assistance to executors throughout the process. You can browse our special reports to learn more and give us a call at 513.721.1513 so we can get started.