An executor or personal representative may be named in a Last Will and Testament or appointed by a court if a deceased person did not leave a valid Will. Executor’s gather, secure, and manage assets left by a decedent. An executor’s authority even extends over real property in an estate.
As a fiduciary, the executor must act in the estate’s best interests at all times.
First, the executor must be “qualified” to carry out the duties of an executor. Before qualification, the person who expects to be the executor is limited to:
- Providing for the burial of the decedent;
- Paying for the funeral; and
- Preserving the estate from waste.
After qualification, personal representatives are expected to administer the entire personal estate of the decedent. But some assets are easier to manage than others.
Take Real Estate, For Example.
The term “real property” doesn’t just mean the decedent’s home. Real property estate assets may be land, commercial properties, vacation properties, and income-producing properties like apartments or townhomes.
An executor may be called upon to sell real property assets, especially if the decedent had signed contracts or letters of intent. Basically, the executor steps in for the decedent. Executors may execute deeds to complete the transfer or sale of property.
If property is sold or rented, the personal representative receives proceeds of the sale or rentals and, if necessary, distributes them.
And Additional Responsibilities.
Personal representatives take on management of real property assets while settling an estate.
- That means that the personal representative of an estate may have to deal with tenants.
- Inspections of real property may be ordered so the executor can decide whether to keep it in the estate, sell it, or abandon it.
- As the person responsible for maintaining the estate assets, personal representatives have to buy insurance or continuing paying existing policies on real property assets.
- Managing the property also means maintaining Personal representatives may have to hire people to keep properties in good shape. Properties could lose value if not maintained. In a worst case scenario, property owners could be fined due to failure code violations.
- Real property taxes don’t stop becoming due because the owner has passed away. The personal representative is responsible for paying those taxes as they become due.
Managing Property Can Be Tough.
The attorneys at the Dillon Law Group, PLC, have experience dealing with both probate and real estate issues. Give us a call at 757-962-4796 to set up an appointment or contact us online by using our convenient Contact Form. We assist clients in Virginia Beach, Newport News, and surrounding communities.