Some people in Georgia who have been appointed executor of an estate or a person who is creating an estate plan might wonder what duties an executor is required to perform. First, the executor must locate the will and file it with the court. The executor also has to locate all of the assets belonging to the decedent. This may involve locating a safe deposit box and consulting financial institutions about accounts. Assets might include securities, real estate, personal effects and insurance policies.
These assets must be inventoried, and some might need to be appraised. Some may need to be sold. Any bills must be paid, but the executor also has the right to reject any claims that appear to be invalid. Income taxes must be filed and paid as well. Once all expenses are paid, the executor can distribute the assets to beneficiaries.
A person is not required to carry out all of this without guidance. An attorney can assist in the process of estate administration and probate. There may be a number of special considerations depending on the situation. For example, a qualified domestic trust may defer estate tax payments if a surviving spouse is not a citizen.
Because of the responsibility involved in the process, it is important that a person creating an estate plan chooses the right executor. An executor should also understand the duties before agreeing to take the role. Another type of issue that might arise is a challenge from a relative. This may happen if someone believes the will is invalid because the decedent was not of sound mind at the time it was created or was unduly influenced by another relative. If the testator discusses the estate plan with loved ones while it is being created, this might reduce the likelihood of these types of challenges.