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Who Handles the Affairs of Your Estate?

Who Handles the Affairs of Your Estate?

The executor of an Ohio Will has an important role in administering the estate according to the terms of the decedent’s Will. If the testator does not designate an executor, or if the person named in the Will as the executor cannot or refuses to accept the role, then the court will appoint an administrator to handle the affairs of the Will.

Executors and administrators perform similar duties. Ohio law does not require either executors or administrators to have the professional skills of an accountant or a lawyer. However, many of their tasks require them to function as a fiduciary. This means the court can hold them responsible for their actions and therefore they must act solely in the interest of the estate and heirs.

Serving as an executor or administrator can be time consuming. The time required for executors or administrators to perform their duties varies depending on the size of the estate or if complicated issues arise. Such complicated issues can include heirs or other interested parties contesting the Will in court. Another example can include complex estate taxes issues.

The specific duties that executors (or administrators) perform include, but are not limited to the following:

  • Make the final arrangements according to the testator’s wishes
  • Locate and manage assets of the deceased until they are distributed to the beneficiaries
  • Determine whether probate is necessary for the estate
  • Determine who inherits from the estate – either by will or intestate succession laws
  • File the will in the appropriate probate court
  • Manage day-to-day details related to the estate
  • Open an estate bank account
  • Receive payments owed to the estate
  • Collect debts, notes and claims owed to the deceased
  • Pay debts and taxes on behalf of the estate.

If you are writing your will you should choose an executor who will protect and represent your wishes. If you have been appointed as an administrator you should take your duties seriously. Our attorneys provide Dayton clients the individual attention you need to resolve all your estate planning or probate legal issues.

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