Unless a person is well-versed in state laws concerning matters of estate, the whole process of executing documents to plan an estate can be very confusing. Many Illinois residents are vaguely familiar with the estate planning and administration process; yet, within the system there are many terms and duties they do not really understand. Acting as an executor of a will, for instance, is something that often leaves people with many more questions than answers.
What exactly is an executor and what duties accompany this role? Generally speaking, an executor oversees the distribution of assets and property after an estate owner has died. It is considered an honor to be designated as an executor to someone’s estate. Nevertheless, many people feel their stress levels rise at the very mention of the idea simply because they are not really sure what it entails or what their obligations and responsibilities will be.
An executor has a fiduciary duty to act in good faith when carrying out his or her duties regarding a particular estate. The executor is also the safeguard of an estate owner’s assets until such time when administration of the estate takes place and assets are distributed to any heirs or beneficiaries named in a final will. In that regard, the executor is also responsible for locating and contacting all parties slated to inherit property or assets.
Another executor duty is to make sure the will is filed in the right probate court. Not every will is probated but must still be filed in the appropriate probate court. The easiest way to clarify what duties and responsibilities fall upon an executor is to consult with an experienced Illinois estate planning and administration attorney ahead of time.
Source: Findlaw, “What Does an Executor Do?“, Accessed on Sept. 26, 2017