What are you asking a loved one to do as an executor?

Perhaps you thought that figuring out who will receive what as an inheritance was the hardest part of creating a will. Then, you needed to choose someone to serve as its executor. A name or two may have popped into your head, but before you just put a name in the document, you may want to consider what it is that you ask of that person.

Being an executor involves a great deal of work, and you may want to know what that entails so that you can discuss it with the person you consider choosing. Of course, once you read the list of duties, you may decide that person wouldn't fit well into this role, and you will need to go back to square one and pick someone else.

What does the state of Louisiana expect from your executor?

When you pass away, you will own certain property and owe certain debts. In order to close out your estate and distribute inheritances, your executor will need to fulfill the following obligations first:

  • Determine the necessity of probate proceedings
  • Find the appropriate court in which to file the will and initiate probate proceedings
  • Gather, protect and maintain all of your assets, including your digital ones
  • Determine that some of the assets should go up for sale while keeping others
  • Open a bank account for the estate
  • Locate and notify all listed and unlisted heirs and beneficiaries
  • File and pay any final income taxes
  • Pay creditors and other debts

Your executor will also need to attend any required court appearances. The court may require an accounting of the estate, along with an inventory. He or she must complete these tasks under ordinary circumstances. If someone decides to try to invalidate the will or a creditor files a claim with the court, things could quickly get more complicated.

If you still believe the person you want to serve in this capacity is the best choice, you may want to consult with him or her first. Even though that person may consider it an honor, he or she may decide not to serve after finding out what is involved in the process. This may disappoint you, but it's better to know now so that you can choose someone else. Otherwise, he or she could decline to serve after your death, which could end up costing your estate and your surviving family members time, money and effort.

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