The estate executor is the person responsible for ensuring that a deceased person’s affairs are settled in a timely manner. This person is also responsible for ensuring that the estate is settled according to instructions left in a will or other estate plan document. Ideally, in Georgia, an individual who agrees to represent the interests of a deceased friend or family member will ask to see a copy of that person’s will while he or she is still alive.
This may allow a representative to ask questions about anything that seems vague or unclear while the testator is still alive. After a person dies, the estate executor is required to file a copy of the will with the appropriate authorities. This is generally true even if there is no need to open a probate proceeding. An executor will also need to order death certificates, get in touch with creditors and contact government agencies to put a stop to benefit payments.
A bank account will be needed to hold any funds that the estate may receive such as a life insurance death benefit or a final paycheck. These funds may be used to pay taxes, administrative fees or other costs that the estate may incur. It is important to note that assets cannot be distributed to beneficiaries before taxes, outstanding debts and other costs are paid.
Hiring a probate and estate planning attorney may make it easier for an estate executor to respect the wishes of the person who they are representing in court. Legal counsel may be able to answer any questions an executor has about paying bills and taxes, transferring assets or other issues that may arise. A legal professional may also help resolve any legal challenges that friends, family members or creditors may attempt to mount.