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Can the Sole Beneficiary of a Will Act as the Executor of the Will?

The executor of a will is chosen by the testator at the time of the making of the will. Most people like to appoint a family member such as a surviving spouse or child to handle their estate after their death.  So it is not unusual for a sole beneficiary to also be appointed as the executor of a decedent’s estate. When there is a large estate with assets that need management, the testator sometimes appoints a neutral a third party such as an attorney or a financial institution to act as a co-executor.  The decedent may also choose to name a sole beneficiary and another unrelated family member who may have more time, or who is better qualified and has more experience in handing business and financial matters as co-executors to share tasks or certain responsibilities. All of those are valid arrangements.

It is recommended that an executor seek the legal representation of a knowledgeable New York probate and estate attorney in order to be more successful in getting the executor removed and having the beneficiary appointed. The attorney can also be of great assistance in helping the executor perform the required tasks, such as:

•    Locating assets of the decedent
•    Making accountings
•    Approving and denying creditor’s claims
•    Managing financial accounts and real estate
•    Selling real estate
•    Meeting court deadlines and estate tax return deadlines
•    Handing and resolving disputes
•    Distributing assets and winding up and closing the estate

Managing an estate takes a lot of time. Many executors are not experienced at handling business, financial or legal matters. A New York probate and estate lawyer to help them with the administration and management of the estate. If you wish to speak to a New York estate attorney, call the Law Offices of Albert Gurevich at (212) 233-1233.