Individuals who are named executors to an Ohio estate are responsible for carrying out an individual’s final wishes. It is their job to ensure that debts are paid and money and other property that remains are distributed to the proper beneficiaries. An executor does not need to be an attorney or an individual with a proper financial background. However, this person does need to act in the estate’s best interests at all times. This is referred to as a ‘fiduciary duty”.
While an executor generally is not entitled to any assets from an estate, he or she may be allowed to charge and collect a reasonable fee for services rendered. For the most part, an executor is required to inventory assets, determine if a will needs to be probated and then do so as soon as possible if necessary.
A bank account should be set up for the estate that is separate from the funds or assets held by the executor. This account can be used to make mortgage or other payments that may need to be made while the estate is being settled. Income taxes may also need to be paid for the final year that the deceased person was alive. Finally, the executor needs to make sure that beneficiaries are found and property is distributed.
Those who are interested in estate planning may wish to talk with an attorney. Legal counsel may be able to help an individual create a valid will that may stand up to scrutiny in probate court. Generally, a will must be signed by two people who are not beneficiaries of an estate to be considered valid. Legal counsel may also help a person determine who may be the best person to serve as executor of his or her estate.