A Cincinnati probate attorney provides assistance to those involved in the probate process, including to the executor of an estate. Executors have a lot of responsibility during the probate process and if you have been named as the executor of an estate in someone’s will, you should make certain that you are actually ready to fulfill the responsibility of serving as the executor before you allow the court to officially appoint you to that important position.
Zimmer Law Firm will help you to understand the role that executors play in preparing for the probate process and in guiding the will through probate. We can assist you in determining if you want to become the executor of an estate and can also help you to fulfill your obligations so that the probate process can go smoothly. To find out more about the assistance we can offer, give us a call today.
Are You Ready to be an Executor?
An executor of an estate has many responsibilities to handle during probate, so you will need to think carefully about whether you are ready to take on this responsibility — especially when you are coping with the grief of losing a loved one. Some of the things you should consider include:
- The time commitment. According to Investopedia, the probate process takes around a year. During this time, you’ll need to be in charge of managing the estate assets. You will also need to attend periodic court hearings as necessary to facilitate probate. If you are not willing to take responsibility for handling estate issues for many months on end, you may not be ready to be an executor.
- The fiduciary obligations. When you are an executor of an estate, you have a fiduciary duty to manage the estate in a responsible manner. This is the highest duty that one person can owe. It is the same duty, for example, that attorneys owe to their clients. If you fail to fulfill your fiduciary duty, you could find yourself being sued for breaching that duty. You do not want to agree to assume this major obligation unless you understand the implications and are confident that you can handle the responsibilities you are taking on.
- The tasks you’re responsible for: As executor of an estate, you are going to have to handle many important tasks. You’ll need to ensure that interested parties are provided with proper notice of the probate proceedings. You will need to handle IRS issues including obtaining a tax ID number for the estate and filing any required forms. You’ll need to complete court paperwork. You’ll need to make an accounting of estate assets and will need to manage the money and property in the estate in a responsible way. And, you’ll be responsible for doing everything else necessary to facilitate the transfer of wealth to new owners.
If you do not feel that you can fulfill the responsibilities of serving as executor of an estate, you do not have to do so — even if someone has named you as an executor in his or her will. You can decline to have the court appoint you as executor and the court can instead appoint an estate administrator to fulfill the role that the executor of an estate would normally fulfill during the probate process.
Getting Help from a Cincinnati Probate Attorney
A Cincinnati probate attorney at Zimmer Law Firm can provide representation to all parties involved in the probate process. We can help you to fulfill your responsibilities as executor of an estate and can also provide representation to heirs or beneficiaries who stand to inherit and who want to ensure that the executor is protecting the inheritance and living up to their obligations. To find out more about how our firm can help you, give us a call at 513-721-1513 today. You can also join us for a free seminar to learn more about the probate process and what is involved in the transfer of assets after a death.