Creating an estate plan is becoming more widely recognized as a necessity as the consequences of not having one are made evident by several famous people who died without having a will or other documents in place. In addition to having an estate plan, a person may be called upon to be an executor of a will in Massachusetts. Estate administration comes with its own set of responsibilities.
The executor has the responsibility of carrying out the terms of the will. This includes making distributions from the estate and verifying that necessary taxes on those distributions have been accounted for. In some circumstances, the estate may need to be advertised in part to alert creditors who may have a claim against the estate.
An executor has responsibility for maintaining the financial health of the estate during the settlement period. If the estate includes an investment portfolio, this may require management according to the performance of the stock market. Once the estate is settled, it needs to be properly closed out. This can be as simple as filing an agreement with the court showing that the estate was settled to the satisfaction of all beneficiaries, or a more complex estate may require an accounting that is ultimately approved by the court.
Estate administration in Massachusetts may appear complex and is a significant responsibility. Consulting with an attorney experienced in such matters can simplify the process. A lawyer can assist the client with a comprehensive review of the estate and offer guidance on successfully executing the deceased’s final wishes.