Being the executor of a Maryland estate can be overwhelming. It’s probably your first – and your last – time acting as executor, so it’s easy to be confused by the terminology and all that goes with the title.
Understanding what an executor does
An executor is the person charged with handling all of the assets of the deceased person immediately after their death. This includes their house, any property, bank accounts, etc.
The executor will also be in charge of distributing these assets to the beneficiaries, usually following instructions left in the person’s will or trust. If there isn’t a will or any sort of estate plan, the job of executor becomes much more difficult.
First things as the executor
The first – and possibly hardest – part of being an executor is handling everything immediately after the person has passed. The executor is most often times the person responsible for making the funeral arrangements and obtaining the important documents, such as:
- Will, trust, and other estate plans
- Social security cards
- Death certificates
In the coming days and weeks, the executor will work on informing people and institutions of the death, closing out bank accounts, etc. This is to ensure that no money goes out – or comes in – after the person dies.
Handling probate court
The executor will also work closely with the probate court. Oftentimes, if there was no estate plan left behind, the executor will spend much more time working with probate than if there had been a plan left behind.
Being an executor can be made easier with a detailed estate plan, but it’s still a lot of work and responsibility. Oftentimes, the executor is handling all of these tasks on top of dealing with their own grief and day-to-day life – which is why it’s important not to take on the role of executor unless you’re absolutely sure you can handle it.