What An Executor Can Not Do - Find Out What You Can't Do As An Executor

Posted by smith clea on August 8th, 2022

As an executor, you are tasked with the responsibility of distributing your loved one's assets under their will after they have passed away. 

While it can be difficult to learn that you've inherited this position, it's important to know what you can and cannot do as an executor

In this article, we'll discuss everything you need to know about the role of an executor, including what you can and cannot do within your official duties as an executor.

The Person Making The Will Can Not Name An Executor

The person making the Will is called the testator. 

The testator must be at least 18 years old and of sound mind. 

The executor is named in the Will and is responsible for carrying out the instructions in the Will. 

The executor must be a person, not a corporation. 

The executor cannot be someone who is named in the Will as a beneficiary.

The Testator Must Be Mentally Capable When Writing The Will.

If the testator is not mentally capable when writing the will, then the will is not valid. 

The executor of the will must be appointed by the court. 

The executor cannot make changes to the will. 

The executor cannot distribute the assets until after the debts and taxes have been paid. 

The executor cannot act outside of what is written in the will.

The Execution Of A Will Requires A Formal Procedure

If you are named as the executor of a will, you have certain duties and responsibilities. 

One of the most important duties is to file the will with the probate court. 

This starts the legal process of probate. 

Probate is the court-supervised process of distributing the estate. 

The executor must also give notice to all interested parties, such as beneficiaries and creditors. 

Finally, the executor must collect and manage estate assets, pay debts and taxes, and distribute assets to beneficiaries.

An Estate Does Not Have To Be Of Significant Value For It To Require An Executor

The duties of an executor are many and varied, but there are some things that they simply cannot do. 

For example, an executor cannot distribute any estate assets until after the will has been proven valid in probate court. 

They also cannot remove property from the estate without express permission from the courts.

Failing to provide notice to heirs or beneficiaries can result in a lawsuit against the executor.

A Beneficiary Under A Will Can Nominate Themselves As An Executor

Being a beneficiary under a will does not automatically make you the executor. 

The deceased person's will must name you as the executor, and you must accept the position. 

If there is no will, or if the will does not name an executor, then the court will appoint an administrator. 

That individual has similar powers and duties to those of an executor. 

But it can be a costly process for the estate because of fees paid to the court, lawyers, and administrators involved in overseeing things.

If you have been appointed as an executor but have decided that you do not want to serve, you can resign by submitting court documents. 

There is no formality required. 

Just sign and date them and send them off. 

If the deceased has named someone else to act as an executor in their will, then this person will automatically become the executor when they receive the documents.

About The Author

Clea Smith is a USA-based author on Legal issues related to estate planning, will & trust, business law, and elder law. Clea Smith does her best writing on these topics that help users to find the best solutions to their FAQ on estate planning attorney, probate, living trust vs will, and more about legal family issues.

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smith clea
Joined: February 6th, 2020
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