The main reason people in Georgia have wills is to ensure that their property ends up with the people they want to have it after they pass away, but there are other important purposes for wills. One is that parents of young children can name potential guardians for their children if they pass away. Another is that people can select who they want to be executor of their will.
The executor of the will is the person responsible for administering the estate. People usually choose close family members that they know will be willing to do it. A person may try to choose an executor who may be organized or understand finances, but in many cases the executor of the will is not someone who is a lawyer or someone experienced in probate proceedings.
Duties of executors of wills
Despite this lack of specialized training, the executor of the will has an important job to do and many responsibilities, including:
- They are responsible for submitting the will to the court and starting the probate proceedings
- They need to gather all of the deceased’s assets and notify all creditors of the deceased.
- They need to pay all debts and any estate taxes owed
- Distribute the deceased’s assets to the named beneficiaries in the will
- They need to defend against any legal challenges to the will and the estate
- They need to close the estate and file all the appropriate accounting with the court to prove the estate was administered correctly
When Georgia residents agree to be the executor of family members’ wills, they usually do so without completely understanding their responsibilities. However, after the loved one passes away, they need to start acting quickly in administering the estate.
An executor has a legal duty to perform their duties correctly. It can be important for executors to consult with a professional who has experience in probate law.