Annapolis Executor Duties Attorney
To be named as an executor in a decedent’s will is a sign that they trust you and it should be seen as an honor. However, it is also a huge responsibility that most people are taking on without any prior knowledge for the role. If you have been named executor of an estate, or you are anticipating to receive an inheritance and have more questions about the process, contact the Annapolis executor duties attorneys at our office to learn more.
What Happens With the Will?
The person who is in possession of the will at the time of death must file the will in the county where the decedent lived at the time of death. Separately, the executor must file a petition to open an estate and needs to request official appointment as the administrator of the estate. According to the Maryland Courts, if the decedent left no will, the court will determine who has the highest priority to be appointed as executor of the estate. At this point, the executor can act on behalf of the estate. An experienced probate attorney can guide you through these initial steps of filing with the courts and assist you in estate management duties.
What Happens in the Estate Management Process?
The executor has several duties after the initial filings, including:
- Notifying creditors about the death;
- Locating all of the decedent’s assets;
- Appraising the assets;
- Managing real estate in a way to avoid diminishing value;
- Representing the estate in any lawsuits;
- Paying off all debts and Maryland’s estate taxes; and
- Distributing all of the assets to beneficiaries.
Depending on the complexity of the estate, these tasks can take months to complete and can be time consuming. For instance, if there is a property that is currently being rented, the executor will be responsible for collecting rent, putting the real estate up for sale at a competitive market price, and donating or selling all of the interior furnishings. A probate attorney can take some of these tasks off of an executor’s list of responsibility and guide them through the other tasks. For instance, according to SmartAsset, the estate tax threshold in Maryland increased from $4 million to $5 million in 2019. A knowledgeable attorney will keep an executor up to date on which laws apply to the estate and how to properly file all of the associated documentation.
Closing an Estate
After the estate’s creditors have been paid and assets have been collected, the estate can begin closing. This means that the assets will be distributed among the designated beneficiaries that were listed in the will or, if there was no will, according to Maryland probate law. At this point an executor can file a petition to close the estate and the probate court can release the executor from his or her duties with regards to the estate.
Let an Experienced Annapolis Probate Attorney Help You
Chances are, if you were named executor of an estate, you were someone the deceased placed trust into and you are grieving their death in addition to taking on this new role as administrator of their estate. Do not struggle through the process alone. Let the Annapolis probate attorneys at Frame & Frame assist you with the duties of executor. Contact our offices for a free consultation today at 410-255-0373.