On July 20, 2014

Whether you are drafting a will as part of the estate planning process or you have been named the executor of a will, you may have some questions about the executor’s role and what to expect. In this three-part blog, we will answer some of the most commonly asked questions associated with the role of executors in the administration of wills.

If you have been named an executor or are preparing to draft a will, check out these FAQs about executors and wills. Or simply contact JR Phillips & Associates.

If you have been named an executor or are preparing to draft a will, check out these FAQs about executors and wills. Or simply contact JR Phillips & Associates.

If you have been named an executor, are preparing to draft a will or have any questions about these roles and processes, don’t hesitate to contact the Denver wills and estate planning lawyers at JR Phillips & Associates, PC.

Q: What is an executor?

A: Executors are people who have been specifically named in a will as the individuals who have the authority and responsibility to oversee the administration of the will. Essentially, this typically means that the executor is the person who the decedent has chosen to oversee various financial affairs, like paying taxes and distributing the assets named in the will as specified.

Q: What do executors do?

A: Executors take the lead and administer an estate as specified by the terms of the decedent’s will. Specifically, this can involve any number of duties and responsibilities, only some of which tend to include:

  • Making sure the bills and taxes for the estate are paid
  • Making sure that any outstanding debts to creditors are satisfied
  • Keeping up the estate property and other assets until they have been handled as specified by the will
  • Distributing the decedent’s assets as specified by the will.

While these duties may sound relatively straightforward, they can quickly become complicated if or when:

  • There are multiple creditors for an estate.
  • Beneficiaries of the will are disputing the terms of the will or have taken issue with how an executor is administering the will.
  • The language of the will is ambiguous or unclear, putting the decedent’s wishes into question.

In such cases, working with an experienced lawyer will be crucial to favorably resolving the disputes, minimizing the costs to the estate and ensuring that the will is appropriately administered.

Q: Can a person decline the role of an executor or resign after accepting the role?

A: Yes. Just because a person has been designated as an executor by a decedent in a will does NOT mean that the chosen individual has to accept or carry out this role. Additionally, even if the person initially accepts the role, he can later relinquish it at any time.

Given this possibility, people are typically encouraged to name at least one (but usually a few) alternative executors so that the court doesn’t end up with the responsibility of choosing an executor to administer the will.

Look for our upcoming second and third parts of this blog for some more answers to commonly asked questions about executors and wills.

Denver Wills and Estate Planning Attorneys at JR Phillips & Associates, PC

When you are ready to develop a will or if you need any assistance with estate planning or administering wills, you can turn to the wills and estate planning lawyers at JR Phillips & Associates, PC.

We provide a thoughtful, comprehensive approach to our clients’ estate planning, elder law and other legal needs, and we take pride in helping each of our clients and their families find the best solutions for them.

Contact Us

To schedule an initial consultation, call us at (303) 741-2400 or email us using the contact form at the top of this page.

From our offices in Denver, we serve clients throughout the southwest and southeast Metro Area, including (but not limited to) people in Highlands Ranch, Littleton, Castle Rock, Parker, Aurora, Greenwood Village and Englewood.

Categories: Estate Planning, Trustees, Executors & Fiduciaries