The duties of an executor

Georgia residents will likely know that selecting a responsible and trusted executor is an important part of drafting a last will and testament, but they may not be clear about the responsibilities that this individual will be burdened with. The overriding duty of an executor is to ensure that the wishes of the testator are followed, and that generally involves settling the estates outstanding debts and distributing any remaining assets to the heirs specified in the will.

Executors are not entitled to any of the proceeds when property of the estate is sold, and many individuals name an attorney as their executor because attorneys have a fiduciary relationship with their clients. This means that they have a legal and ethical obligation to act in their best interests. Executors are paid a fee in return for the services they provide, which most states require to be reasonable after the size and complexity of the estate is taken into consideration.

When estates are simple, the duties of the executor may be fairly straightforward, but locating all of a testator's assets and contacting all of the heirs named in the will can sometimes be challenging. Executors are also expected to navigate the probate process and handle matters such as closing credit card and bank accounts and informing the Social Security Administration of the testator's death. Other duties of executors include ensuring that the testator's income taxes are paid and seeing to it that the estate's financial obligations are met.

Attorneys with probate experience may remind their clients of the importance of choosing an executor carefully. Attorneys could also suggest that people consider placing their assets in a trust, as trusts provide testators with a greater degree of control. They also allow estates to avoid the time-consuming and public probate process.

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information

Upcoming Workshops

3 Easy Steps To Protect Your "Stuff" This workshop addresses frequently asked questions and common misconceptions on Wills & Trusts, Asset Protection, Nursing Home Issues, and Medicaid Qualification.

Join Now! More Workshops

Call Us Today To Schedule A Consultation

We are ready to help you start planning. To schedule an initial consultation, call us at 770-822-2723 or 866-735-9628. You may also contact us online.


Johns Creek Office
11555 Medlock Bridge Road, Suite 100
Johns Creek, GA 30097

Toll Free: 866-735-9628
Phone: 770-822-2723
Fax: 770-573-3379
Map & Directions

Lawrenceville Office
1755 North Brown Road, Suite 200
Lawrenceville, GA 30043

Toll Free: 866-735-9628
Phone: 770-822-2723
Fax: 770-573-3379
Map & Directions


How can we help you?

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.