Every estate that enters probate in Manhattan or elsewhere in the state requires effective administration. Every will should nominate an individual or qualified organization to serve as the executor of the estate. This party has the sole legal power to administer an estate. This power allows the party to take temporary possession of assets, protect the legal rights of the estate, pay debts, and distribute property to heirs.
If you have recently learned that you were nominated as an executor of an estate, consult with a Manhattan estate administration lawyer. A knowledgeable attorney could explain your powers and obligations under the law, take the lead in submitting a petition for administration to the court, and advise you concerning the necessary steps to properly administer an estate.
How a Party Becomes an Executor
The probate process occurs after almost every person’s death. The purpose of probate is to ensure that a decedent’s assets go to their correct heirs and creditors. The only party with the authority to perform the necessary steps in this process is the executor.
A party may petition a probate court to be appointed as an executor. According to Kansas Statute § 59-2219, a petition for administration must include information concerning the decedent, the heirs, the decedent’s assets, the potential executor, and the version of probate under which the party is seeking to open probate.
In most situations, a potential executor points to the language of a will that nominates them to serve in this role. In some cases, the probate court may nominate an individual to be an executor if a will does not name one. An attorney well-versed in estate administration could help an individual through the legal process of becoming an executor in Manhattan.
The Powers and Obligations of Executors
There are mandatory steps that an executor must complete to adequately administer an estate. Under KS Stat. § 59-3204, an executor must:
- Collect the decedent’s assets
- File an inventory and valuation with the court
- Pay the legitimate claims of creditors against a decedent’s assets
- Pay taxes owed by the decedent or the decedent’s estate
It is only when these steps are complete that an executor can distribute the remaining assets to the named heirs as prescribed by the will or the state’s intestacy rules. To these ends, the law empowers an executor to open bank accounts, take temporary ownership of assets, and preserve the legal rights of the estate. Courts empower issue letters testamentary to executors to enable them to take these actions.
It is essential for an executor to fully understand their obligations under the law. Failure to perform adequately in this role could result in the forfeiture of a bond if the probate court previously required a submission. In this situation, an executor could be personally liable to the members of the estate for any reduction in value. A Manhattan attorney could provide vital guidance in helping parties to meet their estate administration obligations under the law.
Reach out to a Manhattan Estate Administration Attorney
Being named the executor of an estate can be stressful. Fortunately, you do not have to handle this process alone.
A Manhattan estate administration lawyer could explain the legal rights and duties of executors and suggest steps that help you to fulfill those duties. A knowledgeable attorney could also take the lead in creating petitions for administration, evaluating your specific steps in serving as an administrator, and help you to adhere to the wishes outlined in a decedent’s will. Call today to learn more about how a skilled legal professional could help you.