If a family member or close friend approaches you to propose you become the executor of their estate, you may want to do some research before agreeing to the important role. When someone asks you to oversee their estate once they pass it may seem like a compliment. However, you want to understand everything that entails before signing up for the position.
In Mississippi, an executor must be at least 18 years old and have the physical and mental capacity to act in the role. Yet, the job often requires much more. Not only do you have a responsibility to make decisions based on the best interests of the beneficiaries and the decedent, but also with the creditor’s interests in mind as well.
What are your responsibilities?
The primary responsibility of an executor involves seeing the estate through the probate process, according to Bankrate. Depending on the unique circumstances of the case, this process may include the following:
- Obtaining documents, such as the death certificate, life insurance policies and last will and testament
- Gathering property, possessions and assets belonging to the estate
- Determining the net value of the estate, opening an account and managing assets
- Notifying creditors of the death and paying any remaining debts as needed
- Filing final tax returns
- Distributing remaining property and assets to beneficiaries named in the last will and testament
It is important to keep full records of all transactions documenting what you have done in the case.
What you should consider
While you may be inclined to help out your friend or family member by agreeing to take the position of executor, there are some factors to consider. First, the position is somewhat time-consuming, and can be difficult to fulfill if you are busy with other obligations. Furthermore, you must be extremely organized and detail organized. Lastly, you must be able to meet deadlines in a timely manner.