One of the decisions that a person will make when they create an estate plan is naming the estate’s executor. This is the person who will settle the estate once the testator passes away. Being named as the executor means that the deceased had trust in your abilities, and they had a good measure of respect for you. When you have this role, you have to ensure that you understand the fiduciary responsibilities that you hold.
The primary function of the executor is to ensure that the terms of the estate plan are followed. In order for this to happen, the person named will have to gather the debts for the estate and get those paid so that the estate can be settled.
Besides just gathering balances due from creditors, the executor will file the estate’s final taxes and get those paid. Things like property taxes must also be handled by the estate if they become due while the estate is still open and before the assets are passed to the beneficiaries.
As an estate’s fiduciary, your primary duty in these cases is to act in the best interests of the estate. You mustn’t do anything that’s self-serving or make decisions that are contrary to the estate. This is a major undertaking, so some individuals who are named as executors opt to work with someone familiar with Mississippi’s probate laws.
Successfully handling the fiduciary responsibilities of an estate mean that it will be able to be closed within a reasonable time and that the heirs will receive what’s due to them. Working toward that goal may help you to make decisions that are in the best interests of the estate.