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The executor is the person chosen by the testator to execute his or her will correctly. Anyone can be the executor, regardless of whether he or she is an heir or not. Due to a relatively recent amendment to the Civil Code, the executor can also be a legal entity - an organization, a company.

Executor explained

The executor's job is to make sure that the testator's will is executed as he or she stated it in the will.

The executor cannot be appointed "forcibly", it is necessary that the person chosen by the testator agrees to the duties imposed on him.

The consent can be expressed in the following ways: in the form of a handwritten inscription by the executor on the will itself, or if the executor is a legal entity, such an inscription must be made by someone who has the right to act on behalf of the legal entity; as a declaration by the future executor attached to the will; in the form of a declaration by the executor (of course if he is named in the will) to the notary within one month of the opening of the inheritance.

Consent to be the executor of the will, executor may be revoked at any time prior to the opening of the inheritance, i.e. before the death of the decedent, as well as after the opening of the inheritance.

In addition, at the request of the heirs, the court may relieve the executor of his duties if there is evidence that the executor performs his duties improperly.

One of the biggest disadvantages of executor is the durability of responsibilities handle. For example, work with various government agencies takes a lot of time (e.g., Social Security Administration to stop Social Security benefits and get the $255 death benefit for a living spouse; IRS and state tax authorities for matters of income tax and death tax; state’s unclaimed property departments to recoup deposits and other outstanding amounts that belonged to the decedent).

Duties of the Executor

So, under the law, the executor will carry out the will of the deceased based on the will. Specifically:

Ensure the transfer to the heirs of the inheritance due to them in accordance with the will and the law;

To perform all acts for the protection and administration of the inheritance prior to the transfer to the heirs, and if he is unable to do so, to apply to a notary with an application for the adoption of measures for the protection of the inheritance;

To be the trustee of the inherited property or transfer it into trust management, if this is not prohibited by the testator.

Receive the money due to the testator and other property to transfer them to the heirs;

To require the heirs to execute a bequest or bequest, or to execute the bequest themselves;

Number of Executors needed 

In practice, there are often disputes regarding the number of executors - not all notaries agree that there can be more than one executor of a will. The legislator states that the testator has the right to appoint one or more individuals whom he or she trusts as executors.

If for some reason the testator did not have time to do so, the heirs can choose the executor or several from their circle or invite from outside.

The number of executors of the will depends on the size of the inheritance is transferred to the heirs: if it is a small apartment, garage or a modest amount of money, the task is quite able to cope and one executor. If the deceased wished to inherit a whole enterprise or several companies, land, jewelry, shares, you need the participation of several executors of the will.

Although some testators act very cunningly and appoint several executors at a fairly modest inheritance - to guarantee the exact execution of the will: if one is not very honest, the other will not fail.

Another nuance: before the opening of the inheritance heirs may not even know who the executor is and whether he is among them. If the testator orders the execution of obligations to several persons, he must clearly state in the will their names, addresses and passport information.

If the executor of the inheritance is one, then his authority is confirmed by a notary, issuing a special certificate. The duties and powers of the executor include safeguarding and managing the testator's assets until they are passed on to the heirs.

Despite the fact that testators are increasingly entrusting the execution of their will to specific individuals, modern Russians are not yet very clear about who the executor is and what his powers are.

Therefore, it makes sense to make a compact and accessible list of duties of the executor. Ensuring the transfer to the heirs of the property that is due to them according to the will of the deceased, taking into account the norms of Russian law. Protecting and managing the inherited property through a notary, or independently. Receiving and handing over to the heir the money owed to him or her. Executing bequests and demanding that the heirs execute bequests and testamentary renunciations.

In addition, the executor of the will is responsible for responding to any signals from heirs, trustees or third parties, who have also been instructed by the testator to take care of the property, and to make sure that the execution of the will of the deceased does not contravene legal provisions.

The legislator has provided for the rights of the executor to conduct the affairs related to the execution of the will, using all measures that contribute to the satisfaction of the last will of the deceased - if there is no specific list of powers in the will, the executor may use the legislative "clue".

Execution of the will

Since the executor in civil law is an individual, chosen by the testator to execute his will, it is logical to obtain the executor's consent. The executor can consent either before (or after) the date of opening of the inheritance (the date of the testator's death). There are two ways to express consent: to state it in his or her own hand in an inscription on the will or to attach the declaration of consent to the will.

If circumstances arise that prevent the execution of the last will of the deceased, the executor may be relieved of his duties.

These include:

  • declaring the executor incapacitated (limited capacity);
  • unfamiliar absence of the executor;
  • prolonged illness;
  • departure for an extended period of time.

The declaration must be submitted to a notary — this is the only way to officially confirm the powers of the executor.

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