What is an Executor for a Massachusetts Will?

What is an Executor for a Massachusetts Will?

What is an Executor for a Massachusetts Will? If you are setting up a will for the first time, you are probably a little bit confused about all the legal terms associated with this process. Words like “intestate,” “codicil,” and “executor” may make sense to a qualified lawyer, but they can leave average people scratching their heads. If you want to gain a solid understanding of the legal process behind the creation of a will, it is important to gain some level of understanding of these terms.

Choosing an executor is an extremely important part of creating your will. But what exactly does an executor do? When you enlist the help of a qualified attorney, he or she can explain the entire process in detail, including the responsibilities of your executor. Until then, let’s learn more
about the role of executors in Massachusetts:

What an Executor Does – Also known as a “personal representative,” an executor is responsible for protecting your assets and property after you pass away. When you create your will, you need to think long and hard about who your executor is going to be. A certain level of trust is required because you need to feel certain that your executor will carry out your wishes and properly oversee the transfer of assets to the people you choose (your beneficiaries). Executors are also in charge of taking care of any debts or taxes.

The Responsibilities of an Executor – An executor also has a number of legal responsibilities. These individuals fill out and submit paperwork to courts in Massachusetts in order to be legally appointed to their role. This is part of a process known as “probate,” and it can take weeks or even months to complete. The executor must also exercise strong financial skills as they request a tax ID for the estate, establish new bank accounts, and transfer assets to new accounts.

An executor also has the full authority to sell off any real estate. The proceeds from these sales are added to the estate account, from which they can be distributed in ways that you have outlined in your will. Executors also have a “legal duty” to follow through with these responsibilities. If they handle money improperly or deviate from the proper procedures in any way, your heirs can take legal action against them.

Who can be an Executor in Massachusetts? – Almost anyone can be an executor in Massachusetts, as long as they satisfy a few requirements:

  • At least 18 years of age
  • Of sound mind

Is My Executor Guaranteed to Follow Through With Their Duties? – Your executor may not end up following through with their responsibilities, even though you clearly name them in your will. An executor can simply decline to serve in this role. In this situation, the court will appoint a personal representative to serve in their place. This is quite rare, as most executors want to honor the wishes of the deceased.

Under Massachusetts law, the courts may also reject a potential executor’s appointment. Although this is unlikely, sometimes an executor’s qualifications are called into question. A formal hearing follows, and a judge will then decide who is the most suitable executor based on the best interests of the estate.

Get Legal Help Today – A qualified attorney can help you choose a suitable executor when you write your will. Reach out to the Law Offices of Johnson, Sclafani & Moriarty today, and we will help you make the right choice.