What Does the Executor of my Will Do?

The person you name as the executor of your will has several duties after your death.  Generally, your executor gathers and inventories your assets, pays bills, distributes assets, pays final taxes, and closes the estate.  In Ohio, this process typically takes no longer than 13 months.

Ohio requires that the person you name as Executor be mentally competent, at least 18 years old, and bonded.  In my experience, most wills waive the bond requirement unless the executor is a resident of another state.  The executor submits the will to the probate court and seeks appointment to administer the estate.

Once the executor is appointed, he or she must take possession of and inventory the decedent’s assets, submitting a list of assets and their value to the probate court within three months after appointment as Executor.  The executor must locate all heirs and provide notice that they might be entitled to an inheritance.  The executor must notify creditors of the decedent’s death, pay bills, and collect judgments and monies owed to the decedent.  The executor is responsible for preparing and filing federal and state tax returns.  After bills are paid, the executor can distribute assets.  Finally, the executor will provide a final accounting to the court.

These duties can be affected by the value of the estate, beneficiaries contesting the will, and other factors.  An executor can be compensated for serving, typically 1-4% of the value of the estate.

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