Executors are the individuals or entities (Banks or Trust Companies) we name to administer the Estate. An Executor's duties, generally, are to:

  1. Identify and collect the assets of the Estate.
  2. Pay the debts and taxes of the decedent and the Estate.
  3. Distribute the remaining assets according the terms of the Will.

Service as an Executor is a serious responsibility. The Executor must administer the Estate under the dictates of the laws of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and must comply with the terms of the Will. An Executor may be subject to personal liability in the event of a failure to carry out the duties of that office.

You will sometimes hear the term "Administrator" for someone handling an Estate. This is the formal name used in the event that a person dies without a Will. In that case, the Register of Wills issues "Letters of Administration" to the next of kin of the decedent. If you are named an Executor or are the person in line to serve as Administrator of a relative's Estate, it is important to seek the advice of experienced legal counsel. Our firm has represented many Executors and Administrators in carrying out their responsibilities.

List of Items to Bring to Estate Planning Conference

  1. Your Social Security Number
  2. Names and Address of those you would like to act as Executors, Trustees, or Agents
  3. List of Assets (approximate value of accounts, cash, real estate, cars, companies, stocks, bonds)
  4. List of any specific gifts you may want to include in your will.
  5. Any charities you may want to include in your will
  6. Names of Guardians if you have minor children.
  7. What you would like done with your remains (if anything)
  8. Any possible beneficiaries that may be receiving state or federal benefits now or in the future.