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The role of the executor

| May 20, 2020 | Estate Planning & Probate

When you pass, any assets that are held in your name will likely be subject to probate. In your will, you are allowed to appoint a person or entity to represent your estate’s interests during the probate process. Your estate representative is responsible for inventorying assets, paying creditors and notifying beneficiaries in Minnesota and throughout the country.

The first step is to submit the will

To open a probate proceeding, the executor will submit the will to a judge for approval. In a separate hearing, the judge will review the will and determine if it is valid. During this hearing, anyone who wishes to challenge the validity of the document will be allowed to express their concerns.

Creditors will be notified of your death

During probate, your estate is responsible for paying taxes and other outstanding debt balances. Creditors must be notified of the probate proceeding so that they can make claims against the estate. Typically, the executor must publish a notice in a local newspaper to ensure that unknown creditors are aware of your passing.

The executor will determine if creditor claims are valid or not. If they are, funds from the estate will be used to satisfy them. It is important to note that surviving family members generally don’t have to pay your outstanding debt balances unless they promised to do so before you died.

Executors may be paid for their efforts

The probate process can take months or years to complete. However, executors are often compensated for the time and effort that they put into overseeing your estate. You can specify how much that person should be paid in your will. In some cases, state law will determine if an executor is entitled to compensation.

If you have any questions about estate administration, it may be a good idea to speak with an attorney. Legal counsel may be able to answer those questions or take other steps to ensure that an estate is settled in a timely and appropriate manner.