What If I’m Named Executor of A Will?

Hi. This is Marc Herbert from Herbert Law Office with the Question of the Week. This week I’ve already heard twice the question, what do I need to do if I’m the named executor in a will or if there is no will whatsoever? If you are the named executor of a will, you do have 30 days to file the will in court, file a petition to confirm the will and the details of that if there is no will, you need to file a petition for what are called letters of administration, basically telling the court that there is no will, but you are qualified to file a petition and seek appointment as administrator.

Once the court files the case, you have to give notice through the newspaper. You have to give notice to the heirs, and then you have to attend a court hearing. If everything is perfect, the court will then approve you and then you have a whole bunch of new obligations that you have to do notices to government agencies, notices to creditors, and then, you know, getting appraisal on property, collecting the assets, paying the debts, and then ultimately preparing a final accounting and a petition for final distribution.

So there’s a lot to do as an executor. You have a lot of authority, but you also have a lot of obligations. And ultimately all of the heirs are entitled to review every single document to file any objections if they think something’s not right. And so the whole process can be very confusing to anyone who ends up in probate court.

So here at Herbert Law Office, we’ve developed a process to basically divide probate into three phases, which saves our clients a lot of time, a lot of money and a lot of stress. We also provide estate planning services to help you and your loved ones avoid the probate process entirely. So it really is about different options, both inside probate court and using estate planning to avoid probate court.

And so we offer a free consultation for you to come in, get answers to all your questions, and then decide which options work best for your family. I hope this information has been helpful for you and we look forward to talking to you real soon.