Whether you were named as executor in a decedent’s Will or expect to a receive an inheritance as a beneficiary, it is important to understand the nature of an executor’s duties with respect to probate. Essentially, the executor acts on behalf of the deceased to handle personal affairs, real estate, and other property according to the Will and the probate laws of Maryland. An executor’s responsibilities can be tremendous, and there may be consequences for failure to comply with statutory requirements.
The Maryland probate lawyers at Frame & Frame will take on your probate legal burdens and explain the executor’s duties with respect to estate administration, the legal term for the probate process. Our firm has handled all areas of probate, representing executors, beneficiaries, and heirs, for over 65 years. Please contact us to set up a consultation regarding your circumstances and learn more about the responsibilities of an executor in Maryland.
Filing the Will and Initial Tasks
There are many tasks for the executor and Frame & Frame attorneys can assist an executor to ease the burden. For example, by law, the person in possession of the Will must file it in the county where the decedent lived at death. However, filing the Will does not begin the probate process. The executor must file a petition to open an estate and request official appointment as administrator of the estate. Once the probate court grants the petition and issues the appropriate order, the executor has the power to act on behalf of the estate. There are many initial duties of the executor of a probate estate, with which we can assist or accomplish on behalf of the executor.
Estate Management Duties
During the estate administration process, the personal representative, or executor, has many management duties, including, but not limited to, notifying known and unknown creditors that the decedent has passed away, ascertaining the assets, having the assets appraised, managing the estate assets in a prudent way, and collecting rent, selling assets, or taking other actions to avoid diminishing value. It is also the responsibility of the executor to represent the estate in connection with any legal matters, including any lawsuits required to pursue estate interests or defend other claims. We can alleviate your stress and handle these duties so the executor can be assured that every detail has been take care of lawfully and to the advantage of the estate.
Distributions and Wrapping Up Probate
Once all creditor claims have been paid and the estate is clear of any liabilities, we can begin the closing process on behalf of the executor. This phase of service includes distributions to designated beneficiaries according to the Will, dividing up the remaining assets, and filing a petition to close the estate. If no other tasks remain, the probate court will grant the petition and release the executor from his or her duties.