Duties of the Executor of an Estate in Tennessee

Posted by Martin Heller Potempa & Sheppard, PLLC on March 18, 2021

As the executor of a will and estate in Tennessee, you have various responsibilities. Before accepting this role for a loved one, you should know what all of your duties entail. Martin Heller Potempa & Sheppard, PLLC explains what the duties of an executor are.

#1. Gather the Assets of the Estate and Make an Inventory

As executor, you must discover and identify all assets that the deceased had at the time of death. In addition, you must make an inventory of how all of the assets were titled so that they remain secure until the time of distribution.

#2. Manage the Assets

Upon creating the inventory of assets, you must make sure that they are properly maintained. This may include real estate property that is held within the estate that requires care and maintenance. In addition, you may need to open up a financial account to pay for debts or expenses that arise.

#3. Identify Creditors

Because the deceased has named you as executor prior to death, you should know a lot of the ins-and-outs of their estate. However, once the dependent has passed, it is important that you notify any creditors that are owed money. During estate administration, you will also need to continue to pay mortgages and other assets that are controlled by the estate. However, you as the executor are not under obligation to pay debts that are unsecured. This includes credit cards, personal loans, etc. Unsecured creditors instead have to file a claim with the probate court in order to be paid.

#4. Pay Taxes

As executor, you have a duty to prepare and file the last income tax return of the deceased. But note that if the person had died before April 15 and had not yet filed for income tax, you as the executor must make sure that taxes are properly filed.

#5. Distribute the Assets

Once you have handled all assets and affairs, you have to distribute all remaining assets of the estate. However, if the will dictates otherwise, you may be able to disburse assets based upon the instructions provided.

#6. Protect the Estate

Though it doesn’t always happen, there are cases where the estate can be sued and it is your role as the estate executor to defend it. Whether it is an accident or there is a case of breach of contract, you need to seek legal advice to remedy any legal concerns.

Also, if the will is contested, the executor must be a proponent for the estate and the validity of the will.

Executor of Tennessee Estates: MHPS Law

If you are seeking legal advice regarding an estate administration or probate matter, our Nashville estate planning attorneys may be able to assist you. To make an appointment with one of our dedicated attorneys, call Martin Heller Potempa & Sheppard, PLLC at (615) 800-7096 or contact us online.

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