Continuing the discussion from the first blog of this three-part series, executors should understand their legal duties. An executor has very significant legal obligations. Under New York law, executors must inventory a decedent’s assets, pay debts and funeral costs, and pay taxes and administration costs. An executor may be liable for several years until they wind up the entire estate and receive a formal discharge of their fiduciary responsibilities. New York law requires executors to consider creditors’ claims within seven months of their formal appointment. The executor will also be responsible for making sure they file the decedent’s final personal tax return and the estate’s final tax return, if necessary.
After notifying potential creditors of the decedent’s death, paying taxes and other expenses, they must distribute the decedent’s assets to the named beneficiaries. If the decedent died without a valid Will, the personal representative or administrator is responsible for locating all of the decedent’s heirs and distributing their assets to their heirs pursuant to the state’s intestacy laws. The intestacy laws dictate which heirs are entitled to receive a decedent’s property if they died without a Will and the amount of each inheritance.
Check our blog tomorrow to read part 3 of New York Law and Executor’s Rights and Duties.