Understanding The Role of the Executor

If you've just been appointed as an executor of a will, you may be feeling overwhelmed. The role can be complex, and even seem like a second full-time job. 

The first question you'll probably ask yourself is what do I do now?

The best answer is to start learning your role, your responsibilities, and how to avoid putting yourself at risk.

As an Executor, You will need:

  • A variety of skills and knowledge about the estate administration process;
  • A large volume of time for completing tasks; and
  • Strong relationships (which may be strained by the combination of money and emotions).

Where should we email your free Executor Guide?

Get more details about your role as an executor and learn
your next steps with our free Executor Guide.
Please contact our office toll free at 1-855-636-3777
to have your Executor Guide mailed directly to you.


Responsibilities of an Executor

Even if you have acted as an executor before, no two estate administration processes are exactly alike.

While the estate itself may be fairly straightforward, the beneficiaries (and their emotions and reactions) can be very different. 

Some of your routine responsibilities as an Executor are:

  • Obtaining the probated will;
  • Advertising for and/or notifying creditors and claimants/beneficiaries;
  • Collecting and securing the assets of the estate;
  • Protecting the assets of the estate;
  • Paying the liabilities of the estate and collecting any receivables;
  • Filing final tax returns of the estate;
  • Accounting for the assets and liabilities of the estate;
  • Verifying claims against the estate;
  • Distributing the assets of the estate;
  • Accounting for the administration of the estate; and
  • Liquidating the assets of the estate.

Did you know that Executors can be held personally liable for the decisions they make in the course of estate administration? 

Even though you will be acting in good faith, errors or disagreements can result in the executor and the estate being sued by beneficiaries. Other factors can also add to the risk you face as an executor, such as the current economy, relationships within families, and the individual personalities involved.

Find out how you can protect yourself today with Executor Liability Insurance. 


For a list of ERAssure Estate Service Providers in your area

Estate Services Directory

Are you Currently Acting
as an Executor?

Executors can be held personally liable for actions they take in estate administration. Talk to one of our Estate Risk Professionals today for your free estate risk analysis.


Downloadable Resources

Want more information on planning, preparing and administering an estate? Download our easy to use reference guides and resources to help you along the way.


  • Executor Liability Insurance - Return the completed application to our office to find out if you are eligible for executor liability insurance.


  • Fiduciary Bonds - Have you been asked to provide a bond for the estate? Download the application and follow the directions to apply for a bond.


  • Free Executor Guide - If you have been asked to be an executor or are acting as an executor this guide will help you understand your responsibilities and help track your activities.


  • Free Will Preparation Guide - A step to step guide to the questions you will need to address when preparing your will.


Learn Mary's Story

Did you know the executor of your estate has unlimited personal liability?

Find out more