When people in Louisiana write wills, they normally name someone to serve as the executor of their estates. The executor of an estate plays a crucial role in administering the will and handling the estate after the testator passes away. Serving as an executor is time-consuming and requires a person to fulfill a number of duties.
When people are asked to serve as an executor by others who are drafting wills, they should take some time to consider whether they will be able to perform the required duties. They should ask to look at the wills so that they can see who will inherit property, if there are unusual provisions, and whether there are any named co-executors.
Once the testator dies, the executor will need to obtain between six and 12 copies of the death certificate. Death certificates will be needed to file for life insurance, deal with creditors, and access bank accounts, among other purposes. The executor will need to file a copy of the decedent’s will with the probate court. The court will determine whether probate is necessary and will validate the will. The executor will need to notify the Social Security Administration, creditors, and other government agencies that have an interest. The executor will need to apply for a tax ID for the estate and open a bank account in the estate’s name. He or she will have to locate and inventory all of the assets, file taxes, and pay debts before distributing the assets.
When people are engaged in estate planning, they should carefully consider who to name as the executor of their estates. People may want to consult with experienced estate planning lawyers for help with drafting their wills and choosing an executor. The person they select to serve as an executor should be someone who is willing and able to perform all of the duties that will be required of him or her.