What is an executor?

Your executor is the person who carries out the instructions that you leave in your will (in conjunction with or under the supervision of the probate court). This can include: helping to locate and collect your assets and then distributing them to your beneficiaries; using your estate funds to settle up your debts; managing or disposing of any of your remaining properties or businesses; and paying your taxes, among other things. (If needed, executors can hire third parties – such as lawyers, accountants, appraisers, etc. – to help with this process, so don’t worry if your Cousin Timmy is bad at math.) You can nominate who you’d like to serve as your executor in your will – and whoever you’d like as a backup, in case your first nominee is unable/unwilling to serve – but the probate court has the final authority to approve/appoint who will ultimately become your executor.

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