Being named the executor of a loved one's estate may seem like a formidable task. After all, it involves legal responsibilities that must be honored. This series will examine the duties of an executor in Maryland, as well as provide some tips that may make the process easier. To start with, what are some duties that the executor of a will may need to perform?
First of all, the executor of an estate will need to determine whether it is necessary to go through probate. Wills are subject to the probate process that is the legal means in which the assets in the will are distributed to the deceased's heirs. Probate can last anywhere from half a year to two years. The executor will need to prove the legitimacy of the will, as well as provide all the necessary paperwork related to the deceased's estate. Because of this, the aid of an attorney experienced in probate law may lift a lot of the burden from the executor's shoulders.
In addition, the executor will need to obtain the deceased's death certificate. Nonetheless, it may help to get a number of copies of the deceased's death certificate, perhaps as many as 10 or 15. This is because a copy of the deceased's death certificate may need to be provided in a number of situations. For example, it may need to be provided to change the name on a person's bank account, to transfer ownership of a piece of property from the deceased to another or to make distributions from life insurance policies.
Other documents that may also need to be collected may include bank accounts, pension and retirement plans, credit card information and other documents related to the deceased's assets. This is because another duty of the executor is to ascertain the location of all the deceased's assets and personal property. Getting an appraisal to determine the worth of certain pieces of property may be necessary.
Future posts will delve more into what is required of an executor. The information in this post is general in nature and is not legal advice. Those in Maryland who want more information about the duties of the executor of an estate can contact a probate and estate administration attorney, who may be able to help them in this endeavor.