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Will Executor Responsibilities

A will executor responsibilities attorney in Philadelphia is a powerful person to have supporting you if you believe that a will executor has stepped over the line and engaged in illegal activity. Understanding what the executor of a will can legally do in Pennsylvania is important for determining the distinction between when someone has engaged in illegal activity and when they are acting within the legal bounds of their role.

Any person who steps into a legal capacity to represent other people, which is common in probate administration, must accept the responsibility of this job. Not following it can expose the person to high levels of individual responsibility, causing claims of financial losses and removal from the case entirely, all of which are problematic.

An executor is typically the person named in the will who handles the estate of a deceased person. That deceased person is referred to as the testator. A will executor lawyer in Philadelphia should be contacted if you believe that the will executor has violated the grounds of the law. A Philadelphia will executor attorney can advise you about whether or not you have grounds for a case. Typically, a testator will name an adult friend, a relative, an adult child or a spouse as an executor. In the event that the primary person named as the executor cannot serve, most wills will have an alternate. The executor has to perform certain duties to settle the estate in Pennsylvania, including paying debts and taxes, determining the value of the estate and distributing remaining assets, according to the wishes of the decedent. Pennsylvania law and the letters testamentary describe the legal actions that an executor of an estate can carry out. The executor is responsible for submitting a will to the register of wills in the county in which the testator resided. If the will is determined to be accurate and valid, the register of wills will issue letters testamentary. This is an official document that gives the executor the authority to act on behalf of the estate. The executor is responsible for providing copies of the letters testamentary to the testator's bank, business accounts and taxing authorities to prove that he or she is indeed authorized to conduct business on behalf of the estate. The executor must also gather assets and submit an inventory of the assets to the register of wills no later than nine months after the decedent's death. The executor has to gather information about estate assets including bonds, stocks, bank accounts, vehicle titles, real estate documents and other items that indicate proof of ownership. This information is typically presented to an appraiser. Beneficiaries must also be notified by the executor of an estate shortly after the executor steps into this role. Beneficiaries must be informed that they were named in a will. If any of the beneficiaries were left a piece of particular property or a specific amount of money, the executor can distribute those assets after identifying that the estate contains appropriate assets to pay those out after any taxes and debts.

Filing tax returns and paying debts and then finally distributing the estate are some of the other important and legally required activities carried out by a Pennsylvania estate executor. If you believe that an estate executor has failed to uphold the fiduciary duty responsibilities that he or she had with relation to the estate, a lawyer should be contacted to file a legal claim as soon as possible. It could end up that there are grounds to pursue a case against someone who violated the law.

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