The executor of an estate has two main goals. The first is to protect the assets in which the executor is legally trusted to, and the second is to enable the quickest reasonable transfer of assets to lawful debtors and legal beneficiaries as required by the estate or the estate owner’s last will and testament. It is easier to do so when it is done with the guidance of an experienced lawyer.
Good Executors Expedite the Probate Process
An executor is an individual who has legal control of estate assets. A good executor protects the assets against theft or unlawful distributions so that the estate can pay its debts and leave a legacy for beneficiaries. When the time comes for assets to be distributed, a good executor enables that to occur as quickly as possible while ensuring everything is done legally and with full transparency.
When a will is in place, the executor needs to produce it right away when the benefactor passes on. The executor files the will with the local probate court and initiates the probate process. Ideally, that will include providing current contact information of all beneficiaries and notifying any estate creditors.
The probate process enables creditors to file any valid claims against the estate and have those settled prior to a full distribution of assets. Once the creditors are paid, the probate court will follow through with the distribution of assets based on the will and consider claims made by beneficiaries or others who might have a valid reason to contest the will.
How Does a Will Work?
A last will and testament can be a relatively simple document that carries a lot of legal weight regarding distribution of estate assets following the death of its owner. A will could be a very simple statement leaving everything to a single beneficiary, or a highly complex document that very specifically distributes a wide range of estate assets to multiple beneficiaries.
A will could place specific assets in one or more trusts for one or more beneficiaries with specific instructions on how those assets are distributed over time. Many times, a good and effective will combine simple elements with some measure of assets distribution that considers the needs of life stages of the recipients.
A young child would not have a great need for a large sum of cash until reaching college age at least. A will could place assets in a trust with specific instructions. If a beneficiary is a senior citizen with health issues, an immediate distribution might be best.
When a valid will is not in place, a probate court controls assets and distributes them via the probate process. That greatly extends the time it takes to dissolve an estate and can create more legal fights among beneficiaries and others who might have claims against an estate. A good executor does their best to prevent that from happening.
Media Wills and Estates Lawyers at Eckell Sparks Provide Legal Advice to Executors
If you want to protect your assets and ensure their proper distribution to intended beneficiaries, an estate executor might be the ideal solution. A Media wills and estates lawyer at Eckell, Sparks, Levy, Auerbach, Monte, Sloane, Matthews & Auslander, P.C. can assist with your estate planning needs. Located in Media and West Chester, Pennsylvania, we serve clients throughout Delaware County, Chester County, and Montgomery County. Call us at 610-565-3701 or contact us online to schedule an initial consultation.