If you are chosen to serve as an executor of someone else’s estate, you will have several duties such as paying bills, taking an inventory of the assets, and distributing the proceeds to the beneficiaries. In order to do all of these things, you will first have to be given the power to act by a court. You can get this power through a letter of testamentary. Elder Care Direction can help to explain how you can get a letter of testamentary if you have been selected to serve as an executor.
What is a letter of testamentary?
A letter of testamentary is issued by a probate court and is a document that gives the named executor the authority to act on behalf of the estate of a deceased person. If you have been named as an executor of someone’s estate in a will, you will have multiple responsibilities after the person passes away. You will be responsible to make sure that the will’s provisions are carefully followed and that you take care of all of the business of the person’s estate. When you receive a letter of testamentary from the probate court, you will need to present both it and the person’s death certificate when you handle the business of the estate.
How to get a letter of testamentary
After the testator dies, you need to file his or her will and a copy of his or her death certificate in the probate court. You will also need to file forms in which you request that the court issue the letter of testamentary. You will need to provide some basic information about the estate’s value to the court along with your information.
A hearing will be scheduled so that the court can make certain that you can serve as an executor and to verify the information that was submitted. You will then receive the letter of testamentary if you meet the qualifications. Getting a letter of testamentary may take a few weeks or a few months, depending on the court’s docket.
What if there isn’t a will?
If your loved one died without a will, he or she may still have debts that need to be paid and assets that need to be distributed. The distributions are made to the deceased person’s heirs as defined under your state’s intestacy laws. If there isn’t a will, someone will still have to close the estate and distribute the assets. An administrator will be appointed by the court. Normally, the person chosen is the spouse or nearest relative, but courts can appoint anyone who has an interest. Administrators are given a letter of administration, which gives them the power to conduct the estate’s business.
Whether you have been chosen as an executor or are drafting a will and wanting to understand how the executor’s role works, the professionals at Elder Care Direction are available to provide you with some guidance. Call us today to schedule your appointment so that you can learn more.