While you may be familiar with the term “executor,” unless you have administered an estate in the past, the process is likely new to you. After your loved one passes away having named you as personal representative of the estate, it is important that you gain an understanding of what this process entails. Every executor, also called personal representative, is entitled to seek the guidance of an experienced New Hampshire probate attorney. He or she can help ensure that you are properly handling all of the responsibilities of an executor.

What does “probate” mean and who is in charge?

The first thing to understand before administering your loved one’s estate is what the probate process actually is. A probate administration is a process during which the probate court oversees the transfer of ownership of a decedent’s assets to a new owner. The administration also involves the payment of any debts of the estate. The person in charge of handling this important responsibility is known as the personal representative. If your loved one has a New Hampshire last will and testament, the will typically dictates who should act as personal representative.

What are my responsibilities as the executor of an estate?

The duties of an executor are numerous and continue for as long as the probate matter is still open. This can last anywhere from six months to a year or longer. During that time, you are responsible for many tasks, including:

  • Gathering and protecting the assets
  • Paying debts of the estate
  • Finding the heirs
  • Obtaining a tax ID for the estate
  • Filing tax returns
  • Distributing assets to the new owners
  • Preparing an inventory and accounting

What costs should I pay attention to as I work through the New Hampshire probate administration process?

During the probate process, there are numerous costs and fees that may arise. These expenses include probate court filing fees, legal fees, accountant fees, final taxes, realtor commissions, and insurance fees. There are many additional potential fees that the executor should watch for as the process continues. A knowledgeable probate attorney can help to ensure that these costs are planned for and paid in a timely manner.

Ready to begin the probate administration process after the loss of a loved one? We are here to help. We encourage you to contact us today by emailing Attorney Candice O’Neil at [email protected] to learn more.