Sometimes passing assets through probate is unavoidable. Maybe the deceased person (the decedent) did not use estate planning tools to avoid probate. Even worse, may they didn’t leave a Will. Whatever the reasons, assets that go through the probate process are managed by the executor. Some assets are a little trickier to deal with than others.
What the Executor Does.
The executor, a/k/a personal representative, is tasked with settling and distributing a decedent’s estate according to the decedent’s valid Will and Virginia law. If the testator did not leave a valid Will, a court will appoint an executor. Either way, someone will be responsible for the executor duties. It is easier, however, when the executor is named in the Will.
Some of the specific duties performed by an executor include:
- Identify, gather, value and safeguard the estate assets;
- Pay any valid claims against the estate;
- File tax returns and pay any taxes that are due;
- Invest estate assets within four months after receipt;
- Distribute remaining assets to heirs; and
- Close the estate after all responsibilities have been met.
The executor’s powers begin even before the court has proved the Will.
The executor is responsible for safeguarding the estate’s property. And assets that may deteriorate or be harmed in some way are more closely managed.
Executors may be required to:
- provide oversight for business assets to keep the business operating;
- manage income-producing properties, like rental units;
- sell available property to pay claims and debts, though there are restrictions to what can be sold; and
- obtain appraisals and assessments of estate assets.
Executors are required to submit reports including information about assets and liabilities to the court. Everything the executor does should be done in the best interests of the estate and anyone involved with the estate.
Schedule an Appointment Today.
For entrepreneurs, personal concerns and business interests form a perfect union when it comes to preparing comprehensive estate plans.
At the Dillon Group, PLC, attorneys work with business owners to make sure both their personal and business needs are met. Schedule an appointment by calling us at 757-962-4796 or completing our Contact Form. Our main office is located in Virginia Beach, Virginia, but we also assist clients in Newport News and surrounding communities.