Taking on the role of an estate executor in Louisiana is a major responsibility. You should get off on the right foot by making sure you understand the will of the decedent as thoroughly as possible.
There are some parts of a will that you should check when first reading it. These provisions will help you determine the scope of your duties, or even if you are the only one to carry them out.
As an executor, you have a fiduciary duty to the individuals who will inherit from the estate. However, an estate can have more than one fiduciary. The will should establish if you are the sole executor or if there are co-executors who share your duties or have responsibilities of their own.
The will should also clearly name the estate beneficiaries. Moreover, you should learn what each beneficiary will receive. A will may be general and divide the estate by percentages, or it might name specific items for each heir.
Some people create both a trust and a will. However, some testators use a will to create a trust. This is a testamentary trust. Depending on what the will says, you may be responsible for creating one or more trusts and naming people to act as trustees as dictated by the will.
Directions to an executor
Wills can also describe how an executor can carry out estate duties. A testator may explain that an executor can pay estate taxes, court costs and debts using a specific fund. Typically, wills describe the powers of an executor to some extent.
Wills are specific to testators, so read one carefully for any provision that you might not expect.