Choosing the right executor — sometimes known as a “personal representative” — is critical to the smooth administration of an estate. Yet many people treat this decision as an afterthought. Given an executor’s many responsibilities and complex tasks, it pays to put some thought into the selection.
An executor’s duties may include:
- Collecting, protecting and taking inventory of the estate’s assets,
- Filing the estate’s tax returns and paying its taxes,
- Handling creditors’ claims and the estate’s claims against others,
- Making investment decisions,
- Distributing property to beneficiaries, and
- Liquidating assets if necessary.