The role of executors & fiduciaries in an estate

As Georgia residents work to create an estate plan that provides for their family members and minimizes the tax implications of any distributions, they will also need to make the crucial choice of who will carry out their wishes. In order to help ensure that the estate is in good hands, it might help to understand the roles of executors & fiduciaries. Understanding what they will be required to do could help make the choice easier.

One of the primary duties of an executor is responsible for is representing the estate legally. As part of that duty, the executor and/or other fiduciaries gather all of the assets and liabilities of the estate and manage them. This includes informing the necessary parties of the individual's death and preparing an inventory that will be filed with the court.

Any beneficiaries and heirs will also need to be notified, which often includes filing a notice in a local publication. Other documentation requirements will also need to be handled such as the filing of any tax returns, if necessary. Finally, once all of the probate court's requirements have been met, the executor will distribute the remaining assets of the estate in accordance with the benefactor's instructions.

Fortunately, executors & fiduciaries are not required to handle these tasks alone. They may hire a Georgia probate attorney and any other professionals needed in order to properly administer the estate. Before making a final choice, it would be a good idea to confirm that the chosen person or persons are willing to serve.

Source: fidelity.com, "Executor and Trustee Guidelines", Accessed on Sept. 4, 2016

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