Understanding the Role of an Executor for a Loved One

As loved ones get older, a major role for the family is delegating responsibilities reasonably. In some cases, you may bring someone to assisted living in Bloomfield Hills because this gets to be too much for one person. However, there are responsibilities outside of direct caretaking that come into play, and being an executor is a key example.


Being the executor of a loved one’s estate not only means taking on a lot of legal responsibility, but also them putting some trust in you. A lot of the time, you are not only responsible for navigating potential issues with your remaining family, but potentially also having to deal with complex and extended administrative work while you are trying to grieve. Make sure you keep the following things in mind when deciding if this is a role you want to take on.


Legally, the executor will be responsible for settling the estate of the person who passes away, with the laws that govern this varying from state to state. As a result of this, one of the first things you want to do is bring on an attorney with experience in this area. Depending on the laws and the assets and complexity of the estate, this can take from months to years to be fully completed.


In practice, this means distributing assets, whether that’s leaving items to people per the will, as well as paying off any existing debts, expenses, and taxes. When this happens, and the estate gets clearance from the IRS, the estate is officially closed. Prior to this, you may need to file the will in probate court or even have to create a list of assets. Again, this all varies based on your loved one’s assets and what state you live in.


So, with all this in mind, what can you do with your loved one now to make your role as an executor easier? A lot of this boils down to talking to them to see if there’s anything ambiguous that needs to be cleared up. For example, ask them if there’s a set plan for assets like a family business, property, or heirlooms. In addition, make sure that the original copy of the will is safe, and determine whether family members are aware of the decisions. Ideally, you want to do this as soon as everyone feels comfortable.


Remember, while something like senior living in Bloomfield Hills can do a lot in terms of taking care of loved ones, there are certain responsibilities that will always fall upon the family. Make sure that you understand this when becoming an executor, and you will be in a position to respect the wishes of the older people in your life.



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