Your Duties as the Executor of a Will in New Jersey

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Over the course of your life, you may be asked to serve as the executor of someone’s Will. The job has many important responsibilities and should not be taken lightly. Your primary duties as executor are to gather and manage all property and assets of the estate and ensure they are distributed according to the Will.  If you are named executor of a Will in New Jersey, seek guidance from an experienced estate planning attorney.

In the meantime, review the following list containing the primary obligations of a New Jersey will executor:

  1. Probate — First, you must probate the will, that is, have it “validated” by the court. Once this has been accomplished, you are granted the authority to perform your duties under the provisions of the will.
  2. Manage the decedent’s estate — You must gather and assess the value of all estate property and assets. Additionally, you should hire a professional appraisal company to ensure the estate is assessed at market value. In order to properly manage estate assets, you may be required to operate or even liquidate an estate-owned business.
  3. Handle taxes — Remember, as executor, you are legally responsible for filing required income and estate-tax returns, and for paying any necessary inheritance taxes.
  4. Settle debts — Any outstanding debts owed by the estate should be paid as soon as possible. In many cases, litigation may be required to determine if a claim is valid.
  5. Distribute assets— Once you have paid off all debts and expenses, you can distribute the remaining estate in accordance with the last wishes of the testator.

Will Guardian

In addition to eventually performing the obligations above, you may become the guardian of a Will if the creator of the Will provides you with a copy for safe-keeping. He or she may even provide you with the location of the original document should a will contest dispute arise.

Being the executor of a will is both an honorable and overwhelming experience. Fortunately, with the assistance of an experienced attorney, you can properly execute your loved one’s Will. If you need assistance probating a Will or have general estate planning requests in Hunterdon or Union Counties of New Jersey, contact Alec Borenstein, Esq., at alec@bmcestateplanning.com or call 908-236-6457.

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