What is an Executor in a Will?

An Executor is responsible for seeing that (1) the terms of the Will are carried out and distributing the estate (2) applying for probate if necessary, winding up the deceased’s’ affairs, arranging final tax returns and payments, and defending the Will against any challenge.

Although a Will should appoint an executor, it is still valid if it does not. Anyone over the age of 18 can be appointed as an executor. You can appoint a major beneficiary. It should be someone you trust, who will act responsibly, and who has agreed to be your executor. Appointing someone younger than yourself, or appointing more than one person, is a safeguard against your appointment becoming void if your executor dies before you. If more than one executor is appointed, it should be made clear whether they are to act jointly or if the second person is only a substitute. It may also be easier (although it is not compulsory) to have an executor who lives in the same state or territory as you.

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