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Understanding the role of the executor of your estate

On Behalf of | Apr 15, 2024 | Estate Planning |

Washington residents who take the time to craft a comprehensive estate plan are doing their family and friends a huge favor. Determining the distribution of assets after death is obviously a major part of the goals for those who want to get an estate plan in place.

As you go through the process of making those plans, there is one key decision that must be made: Who will be the executor of your estate?

The executor’s role

To make that decision, it is usually helpful to understand what, exactly, an executor of an estate is obligated to do. From a basic conceptual perspective, the executor is charged with fulfilling the wishes stated in a person’s will. But, from a practical perspective, there are certain steps that most executors must commonly take.

First, the deceased person’s assets usually need to be identified and, sometimes, valued. Heirs and beneficiaries may be eager to receive assets as directed in the will but, first and foremost, the deceased person’s debts need to be addressed. Only after that crucial step can assets be distributed to heirs and beneficiaries, as directed in the will.

All of this may be playing out as the executor moves the estate case through probate court. There are a variety of factors that will determine whether or not an executor needs to move the estate through probate court in Washington. But, if probate is indeed necessary, executors may find it useful to get more legal information about how to get through that process as efficiently as possible.