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Wills, Trusts & Estates: Plain and Simple – What Does an Executor Do?

July 15, 2019

An Executor (technically, Executrix if a woman) is the person you appoint to carry out your wishes as expressed in your Will. The Executor’s job lasts a relatively short period of time, typically two to three years, ending with the final distribution of the estate’s assets to the beneficiaries.

The first thing the Executor does is submit the Will to the Court for probate. Once the Court declares the Will valid (i.e., admits the Will to “probate”), the Executor is appointed and receives what are called “letters testamentary” in New York, evidencing this appointment. At this point, the Executor’s job really begins.

The Executor’s first step is to identify and collect the decedent’s assets. This includes transferring, and perhaps consolidating, bank and brokerage accounts into the estate and taking action to protect the decedent’s assets (ex., changing locks on doors, monitoring the decedent’s investments).

Reprinted with permission from Lloyd Harbor Life, July 2019. 

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