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Estate planning in Alabama: The role of an executor

Very few people like to plan for the future, especially when that involves planning for the unexpected. Those are the things involved in estate planning. Alabama residents who have an all-encompassing estate plan have included naming a person as executor of their wills. But, what exactly does that person do and when? In a nutshell, an executor looks after getting a deceased person's possessions to the people to whom he or she left them after the person has died, as instructed in a will. 

It is not a job for the faint of heart since it can be both time-consuming and stressful, but it can also be an honor that the person believed his or her executor could be trusted with the important task. An executor is also responsible for paying off the debts of the person who wrote the will, otherwise referred to as the testator. The executor is entrusted to act in good faith.

These duties can be difficult to accomplish. First, an executor has to find the will if he or she doesn't know where it is. It's also an executor's job to determine if the will should be probated. In other words, having a court decide if the will is indeed valid, and the person so named also has to contact each beneficiary to let them know they've been named in the will. These are just some of the many duties assigned to the executor.

In most instances, a testator will have asked the person named to be the executor of a will. Yet, there may still be some questions regarding the person's duties. An attorney may be of assistance to both the testator and the executor when it comes to defining the law in Alabama and how it pertains to estate planning. It may be better to have a clear understanding of what the role means before naming and executor in a will. A lawyer will be able to offer ongoing guidance and support.

Source: findlaw.com, "What Does an Executor Do?", Accessed on Feb. 16, 2018

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