When a person passes away, the estate of that person is often handled by an executor. The executor has very serious responsibilities to the estate. With that in mind, it is important for anyone who is creating an estate plan, as well as to those who are named as executor of an estate, to understand some points about the role of the executor.
How does an executor handle assets?
An executor is responsible for finding the decedent's assets. Once the property is found, the executor has to distribute it in accordance with the will. In the interim, the executor is responsible for the upkeep of the assets.
What does an executor do with debts?
The executor has to ensure that necessary debts and creditors are paid off. If any money is left after the debts and bills are paid, the executor distributes the remaining money in accordance with the will.
What else does an executor do?
The estate executor is responsible for closing out the decedent's finances. This means reporting the death to the banks, credit card companies, Social Security Administration and any other businesses, agencies, or organizations that should be informed.
Who can be an executor?
The executor has to be someone who is able to handle the responsibilities. Only an adult can be an executor over an estate. Some estate executors are lawyers, but that isn't a requirement. The bottom line is that the executor of an estate should be honest and diligent to ensure that all matters that must be handled are handled in accordance with the laws of Texas.
Source: FindLaw, "What Does an Executor Do?," accessed April. 24, 2015