The role of the executor during probate and estate administration

Anyone who has been named the executor of an estate may have a lot of questions about what that means exactly. If it is something one has never done before, it is understandable that it seems rather foreign. The goal of this column is to give Georgia residents or those called to handle probate and estate administration cases in the state an idea of what an executor is supposed to do.

The executor acts as the personal representative of an estate. His or her job is to ensure that the estate is closed out properly. That means that taxes and creditors get paid and beneficiaries receive the inheritances intended for them. An executor is generally named by the decedent. However, if no executor is named or if there is conflict over who is named as the executor, a probate court judge may designate the person he or she deems worthy of the position.

What specifically does an executor do? The list is actually pretty long. A few specific duties of the personal representative include:

  • Gathering estate documents
  • Locating all assets
  • Contacting beneficiaries
  • Opening a probate case -- if necessary
  • Continuing necessary payments
  • Paying debts and taxes
  • Distribute property

It is a lot and it is enough to overwhelm anyone. Those individuals who are designated executors for probate and estate administration cases in Georgia can turn to legal counsel for assistance. With the right help, executors can fulfill their roles successfully and close out the estates as swiftly and smoothly as possible.

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