Attorney Daniel Loveland Examines Executor Responsibilities

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Attorney Daniel Loveland, of Daniel Loveland and Associates, lists the top five things to expect if named the independent executor of a will.

Daniel Loveland and Associates

If a person has died and named you in their will as independent executor, the first thing you need to do is choose an attorney who is experienced in probate law.

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Attorney Daniel Loveland advises on what to expect if named the independent executor of a will. “If a person has died and named you in their will as independent executor, the first thing you need to do is choose an attorney who is experienced in probate law,” said Daniel Loveland, founder of Daniel Loveland and Associates. “The attorney will want the original will, death certificate and information needed to probate the will.”

After meeting with an attorney, Loveland states the executor can expect the following five courses of action:

No. 1: Hearing on application to probate: After the will is filed, there will be a hearing where the executor will give brief oral testimony about the background of the decedent, which is called “The Proof of Death and Other Facts.” The court will then sign an order admitting the will into probate and appoint said person as independent executor.

No. 2: Letters Testamentary. “After the hearing, the clerk will then give you your ‘Letters Testamentary,’ which you will give to third parties to show that you are the person authorized to act on behalf of the estate,” said Loveland. “Afterwards, you can fulfill your responsibility, which only you can do, of gathering the assets of the person who died, paying his or her debts and distributing the remaining assets to those entitled to them under the terms of the will.”

No. 3: Give notices. No later than thirty days after the hearing, the executor needs to publish in a newspaper in the county where the probate is located a “Notice to Creditors,” notifying potential creditors of the estate that the decedent has died and to whom to present their claims. No later than sixty days, a notice to the beneficiaries of the will that the will has been probated and when and where it has been probated. No later ninety days, the executor needs to file an affidavit that the notice to beneficiaries has been given and file an “Inventory, Appraisement and List of Claims,” listing all of the assets in the estate.

No. 4: File a tax return. For very large estates, the executor must file a U.S. Estate Tax Return, form 706, within nine months of the date of death. The executor is also responsible for filing the final personal tax return for the decedent, form 1040, by April 15 following the year of death.

No. 5: Close the estate. “After completing your responsibilities as executor, you are ready to close the estate,” said Loveland. “However, you should only do this upon the advice of your attorney.”

About Daniel Loveland and Associates
Daniel Loveland and Associates is a full-time estate and business planning firm. The firm operates on the proven conviction that the vast majority of estate and business problems are preventable, and can be efficiently anticipated. For more information, please call the San Antonio office at (210) 495-0700, the Austin office at (512) 329-2066, or visit http://www.djloveland.com.

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