An executor is a person/institution who is the legal representative, named in a will or implied as such, to carry out the process of the distribution of the assets of the testator.
1. Criteria to Appoint an Executor
- The executor appointed should be of 18 years of age and also of sound mind.
- Substitute executors shall be appointed in case the original executor denies to fulfil his duties when actual action is warranted.
- The executor appointed may be either a beneficiary to the will or a third person(in case a dispute seems likely).
- It shall be made known to the executor that he/she shall be liable for any errors or mistakes even if the same has been executed in good faith.
2. Duties and Responsibilities of an Executor
- Meeting of funeral expenses from the estate left by the testator.
- Obtaining the death certificate of the testator.
- Interpretation of the will in the right manner and distribution of assets to the correct beneficiary.
- Drawing up an inventory of the assets to be sold or disposed of.
- Expense management for all the properties until the disposal of the same.
- Applying for probate since it is the official evidence of the executor’s authority, where probate is mandated by law.
- The settlement of assets as directed in the will.
- Payment of money that is due from the testator or collecting money due to the testator.
- Maintaining records of all transactions.
- Representing the testator in any legal action(excluding criminal and defamatory matters).
3. Advantages of an Executor
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- Beneficiaries shall be ensured of proper handling of the property.
- By appointing a third person as an executor, the family can be relieved of the administrative responsibilities of executing the will.
- If the executor is appointed in time, it shall save time and money and shall prove to be advantageous to the beneficiaries.
- Many cases have been pending in courts due to family disputes which can be avoided by appointing an executor who will be neutral and fair in his dealings.