If your parents, a sibling, or a loved one has asked if you will be the executor for their Michigan estate, you may wonder what that entails. On the one hand, it indicates how much they trust you to follow their wishes. On the other hand, making arrangements to transfer assets after a person dies can be a daunting task. Before agreeing to administer the will, you should understand the duties and requirements of the position.
According to Smart Asset, the executor of a will has a fiduciary duty to the estate and its beneficiaries. You can be held liable if you act in your own best interest if it is a detriment to the estate.
Range of duties
As executor, you are responsible for everything from inventorying and securing the estate’s assets to notifying beneficiaries, creditors and other interested parties of the deceased’s passing. Although there is no timeline for how long the duties last, you can expect at least five months of work. Depending on the size of the estate and issues surrounding the assets, it could take more than a year to wrap everything up.
Communication is key
Any portion of the estate not addressed in the will passes through probate. You will work with the probate court officials for this process. Other parties with an interest in the estate may include the following:
- Mortgage lender
- Landlord/property manager
Keep receipts and any other type of documentation relating to the administration of the estate. This includes documenting all communication about the estate.
Depending on the situation, you may need to search through file cabinets, safe deposit boxes and other locations for the information you require as executor. Information you might need includes bank account numbers, login credentials for investment accounts and other financial records. Addresses and contact information for beneficiaries may also require searching.
The process of closing an estate is often complex and time-consuming. A professional administrator can help you understand your duties and what it takes to complete them successfully.