When a person creates their estate plan, they have to appoint someone who will carry out all of their wishes upon his or her passing. The person they appoint is known as the executor. The executor has a lot of responsibilities when it comes time to administer the estate. Some of these responsibilities include offering the will to probate to start the estate administration process, gathering all assets in the will and distributing them to beneficiaries, and making sure all taxes and outstanding debts are paid.
When the executor takes the will to probate, they file the death certificate and the will within 11 days after the person passed away. Once the Surrogate’s Court accepts the will, they officially establish you as the executor and you can continue the process with the legal power to carry out all last wishes. After the tax returns are filed and the remaining liabilities are paid, you can begin distributing assets to the beneficiaries and closing the estate.
When it comes time for the executor to close the estate, you should obtain a Release and Refunding Bond to protect yourself from any debts or taxes of the deceased that may arise unexpectedly. Only after obtaining this bond should you distribute assets.
Estate administration can be a very complicated and stressful process and it is important that as an executor, you have the appropriate legal guidance to make sure you are completing all aspects of the process.
Juan C. Velasco, Esq. is a trusted attorney for bankruptcy, real estate, and estate matters who has been serving the New Jersey area for over 25 years. If you are in need of experienced legal counsel, please contact Velasco Law Office and we will be happy to assist you.