Experienced Lawyers
Serving Your Needs
  1. Home
  2.  » 
  3. Probate
  4.  » What an executor of the estate does

What an executor of the estate does

On Behalf of | Sep 15, 2022 | Probate

An executor of an estate has many vital responsibilities and must carry them out before a South Carolina judge closes probate proceedings. Essentially, an executor serves as the deceased’s representative during the process. While many understand an executor’s duties involve distributing assets, a critical element of probate, not everyone knows about the other tasks an executor performs.

The role of an executor

A testator may bequeath certain assets to specific beneficiaries in a will. An executor is responsible for ensuring everyone listed in the will receives what is promised. However, the estate may owe money to creditors, and the executor must pay such debts from the estate’s funds before distributing any assets to beneficiaries.

Several other steps become necessary to close out probate, including filing tax returns. Whether the filing requires paying a balance due or results in a refund, the executor must file all applicable state and federal returns. Also, if the estate is beyond the inheritance tax exemption threshold, the executor must pay the taxes owed from the estate’s accounts.

Further duties of the executor

Upon reviewing all the steps performed during probate, anyone taking part in estate planning may benefit from choosing an executor carefully. The executor must contact numerous parties that conducted business with the deceased and inform them of their passing.

The executor usually closes credit card and bank accounts while closing all utility accounts. The executor may deal with landlords, private mailbox enterprises, business partners, and others on behalf of the deceased. The executor does so legally when appointed as executor by the probate judge per the wishes stipulated in a will. Again, the executor serves as a representative, handling the deceased’s affairs. If the executor proves incompetent, they may face removal.