After the passing of a loved one, friends and family will have the responsibility of settling his or her Louisiana estate. This means paying remaining bills, locating and valuing assets and distributing estate assets according to the terms of the will. The individual overseeing this process is the executor of the estate, a person specifically appointed by the court — usually in accordance with what the decedent specified his or her will.
What does the executor do?
The executor of the estate will have various responsibilities and must execute them to the best of his or her abilities. Some of the specific things this individual will oversee and facilitate include:
- File appropriate paperwork with court to start probate
- Value estate assets
- Pay remaining debts and taxes owed by the decedent’s estate
- Distribute assets according to the will
The executor cannot act in ways that are not in the best interests of the estate. He or she may need legal or financial assistance for complex issues, such as handling financial investments owned by the decedent or interpreting ambiguous terms in the will. This help may prove beneficial in avoiding problems that can lengthen the probate process.
Navigating the process
The executor of a Louisiana estate may find the process to be daunting and overwhelming, but he or she does not have to walk through it alone. There is significant benefit in working with an experienced attorney at every step. Estate settlement is a process that can take months, a year or longer to complete, and lack of guidance can cause stressful and time-consuming complications.