Establishing a will or trust is imperative if you want to provide for your loved ones and prevent the hassle of probate after you pass. Part of planning your estate will entail designating the beneficiaries, trustees and executor. The latter of these—an executor—is responsible for distributing the property of the decedent. There are many other duties an executor will have, too, as part of the position.
You might wonder, though, what the parameters of this power are. There are many actions an executor may take without involvement or intervention from a court. Acquiring legal counsel from an attorney, however, may help executors avoid costly mistakes.
Decide whether probate is necessary
According to the Cameron County Courthouse, current fees associated with filing for probate total $277. This is often only the beginning of the expenses that are to come, though, when an estate enters probate. An executor has the power to circumvent probate, however, if it is not deemed necessary. If you have established your will or trust correctly, there is often no reason why it would be.
Pay taxes and debts owed by estate
Creditors may begin pursuing debts from an estate as soon as the decedent passes, and in some cases, they may do so with the threat of going to court. Luckily, though, an executor can handle such matters without going to probate. Any taxes or debts that the decedent owes can be paid from the estate directly by the executor. Going to court would be necessary only if there is a dispute.
Appear on behalf of estate
It is often beneficial to all parties to invest in an attorney for legal representation. The executor of the estate, however, is legally authorized to represent the estate. This means that if it does become necessary to go to court, the executor may appear on the behalf of the estate and make any decisions regarding its management and execution.