When a person passes away in New Jersey, someone will be named the executor or administrator of the deceased person’s estate. The person chosen as executor will be responsible for distributing and managing the assets of the estate and making sure that all beneficiaries receive what they are entitled to receive. Ideally, the deceased person will have named their chosen executor in their will, but if not, one will be appointed by the Surrogate Court of New Jersey.
What does an executor do?
While the specifics of the executor’s job will depend on the deceased person’s estate, there are some general tasks that expected of anyone serving as an executor. Here are some of those responsibilities.
- Request to be executor
- Locate the will
- Take inventory of the estate assets
- Contact beneficiaries and potential heirs
- Prepare and file taxes (estate and inheritance tax returns, final income tax returns for deceased)
- Pay fees on behalf of the estate
- Apply for tax waivers
- Distribute assets to beneficiaries
Executors have a fiduciary duty to the estate to always act in the best interest of the estate, as opposed to their own personal interests. Serving as an executor requires a great deal of responsibility and can be overwhelming for someone without experiencing managing an estate. An attorney specializing in estate administration can be extremely helpful when it comes to selecting an appropriate executor for your estate. If you have been appointed an executor of an estate, an attorney can assist you throughout the process and make sure that you are meeting all of your obligations.