What does an executor of the estate do in Michigan?

On Behalf of | Mar 30, 2022 | Estate Planning

Writing a will involves careful thinking and planning. Besides choosing what beneficiaries receive particular assets, a will could provide other directives related to the estate. Another point worth noting is there could be unfinished business with the estate that requires addressing. The executor of the estate becomes the person who handles the various tasks. So, the testator must choose a beneficiary wisely.

Duties of an executor

The executor does not have decision-making powers that overrule the will. Instead, the executor serves as the estate’s representative and carries out various tasks, including making sure the beneficiaries receive what the testator bequeaths. However, asset distribution tasks might not be the first or only duties the executor performs.

The executor may have to settle debts with the deceased’s creditors. Only after creditors receive what the testator owed can the beneficiaries receive their due. Also, the executor may need to file the deceased personal income taxes. The deceased might owe federal estate taxes if not below the exemption amount.

Several other duties could fall on the executor’s shoulders, such as purchasing an automobile or a homeowner’s insurance policy for the estate. The executor might need to deal with utility companies, banks, brokerage firms, landlords, and others. Ultimately, some estates are more challenging to manage than others.

Choosing the right executor

The testator should take all necessary actions to choose the right executor during the estate planning process. The probate process could take longer than expected when someone is overwhelmed with executor duties. A beneficiary could even file motions to replace an incompetent executor, causing further problems.

A testator could discuss matters related to the estate in-depth with a chosen executor. This way, the executor may become better primed for the job.