No matter how big an estate a person leaves behind when they pass, some issues will need to be attended to. There could be bills to pay and assets to sell or give away. Rarely, do people have zero estate administration issues following their death. In order to deal with these issues, Michigan residents need to create an estate plan. This plan, which will likely include a will, can handle all foreseeable estate issues. Part of this plan should also include naming an executor of the estate.

Being named the executor of an estate is a big responsibility. The executor, or estate administrator, is responsible for many areas of estate administration and is responsible for seeing the estate through probate. Part of this responsibility will include notifying the probate court of the death and becoming certified as the executor.

The executor has many responsibilities including notifying all interested parties that the person has died — including Social Security Administration, Medicare, the DMV or any other interested party. The person is also responsible for dealing with all legal documents of the estate including the will, any trusts, retirement accounts, investments and other bank accounts.

Eventually, it will be this person’s responsibility to distribute the assets of the estate according to the estate planning documents. This may include the task of locating all the available assets and protecting them until they can be sold or distributed. Collecting assets may also include collecting outstanding benefits such as investments, retirement benefits or wages.

These are just some of the important tasks that an executor must carry out following a person’s death. Those considering their estate plan and administration should make sure they carefully select an executor. In some cases, people should make sure their chosen executor is willing to take on this important responsibility.

Source: White Lake Beacon, “Should you become an executor?,” Jason Alderman, Aug. 19, 2013

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