The executor of a will maintains many responsibilities in Ohio. While every executor serves in some common ways, each situation presents various problems that the executor must resolve. A person who accepts the role of executor must make decisions regarding the will and estate. When the deceased fails to clearly present their wishes in a will, the executor must decide on the best course of action.
Understanding the role of the executor
Estate planning assigns an executor to help administer the estate of a person who has recently passed away. When a will fails to assign an executor, the court steps in to appoint one for the estate. One major role of the executor involves challenges to the will. The executor can help to resolve any disputes and validate the will.
The executor typically determines who qualifies to receive real estate as dictated by the will. During the process, the executor must pay any debts of the estate. In some cases, the beneficiaries may not receive an inheritance after debts get resolved. Another common role involves arranging for distribution of the assets and property of the recently deceased.
An executor has some room to interpret a will when certain issues are not clear. However, the executor must act faithfully. The executor does not have the power to remove or add people to the will.
Risks associated with serving as an executor
Talking with an attorney during the process of creating a will can ensure that it remains valid. Even when an executor gets assigned, the beneficiaries maintain legal options to remove the executor if the court must appoint a new executor. Refusal to communicate with beneficiaries, delaying payments unnecessarily or stealing from the estate are a few scenarios where an executor can be removed.