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What do I do if I’ve been named an executor?

On Behalf of | Sep 12, 2022 | Probate |

You and your family member knew each other for years. Perhaps, this family member was a parent, or maybe the family member was just a close friend. Either way, this person trusted you to be their executor after they died, and that unfortunate even has occurred. Now what?

Your duties

If you do not know what to do, they you should contact an Ohio estate administration attorney. They can walk you through this because, do not be fooled, this job has legal requirements that you have been entrusted to follow. Specifically, you are required to file your friend or family member’s will in the county probate court, in addition to state and local tax documents.

Next, you have a duty to maintain the property in the estate, including all assets. You will also be responsible for paying off all debts and taxes, which may require asset sales. Then, you are responsible for distributing the remainder of the estate as dictated by the will and other estate planning documents.

Probate?

Probate refers to the court proceeding where the judge and executor administer or finalize a person’s estate (what they left behind). Probate court ensures that claims, debts and taxes are paid, and then, ensure that the will’s beneficiaries are given the amounts and items outlined in the will. If there is no will, then Ohio law dictate who gets what and how much. Though, real estate may necessitate additional court proceedings in various states and courts.

When is probate not needed?

Probate is not needed in all cases. If the person who died did not own anything or everything is held in a trust, then, of course, probate is not needed. If their entire assets are worth less than $5,000 or less than the funeral cost, no probate is required. There are also asset classes that can skip probate, like accounts that are payable on death, annuities, insurance policies, retirement accounts, etc.