What is an Executor?

An executor is the person named in a will and appointed by the court to oversee the administration of an estate and carry out the terms of the will. In Phoenix, the executor is called the personal representative.

executor for estate planning

What are the Responsibilities of an Executor in Phoenix?

If you are named as the executor of a Phoenix estate, your duties do not begin until the testator dies and the court approves the appointment. While the responsibilities of an executor will vary depending on the particular estate, general duties for an executor in Phoenix include the following:

  • Filing the will in the probate court. In Phoenix, the Probate Filing Counter is located at the Maricopa County Superior Court. In Maricopa County, you can file documents in person, by mail, or via a filing depository box. 
  • Sending notice. The executor must send formal notice that the estate is open to heirs, beneficiaries, and creditors. They must file a proof of notice with the Maricopa County Superior Court.
  • Making an inventory of the deceased’s assets. The executor must identify and list the deceased’s assets and their value. It may be necessary to get appraisals of real estate and personal property.
  • Managing the probate assets. The executor manages the probate assets until they are distributed to the beneficiaries. Examples of probate property include bank accounts, personal property, business interests, and real estate.
  • Paying outstanding bills. Before distributing the inheritance to the beneficiaries, the executor must pay all creditor claims.
  • Paying taxes. The executor must file a final income tax return covering the period from the beginning of the year until the date of death. They also must pay estate and inheritance taxes. 
  • Making distributions to beneficiaries and heirs.
  • Maintaining detailed accounts and records.
  • Filing a final accounting. If the probate is supervised, the executor must file the final accounting with the court. If it is informal probate, the executor can give a copy of the accounting to the interested parties. The parties must sign a waiver and release stating they agree with the administration for the court to close the estate. 

What Qualifications are Needed to Be an Executor in Phoenix?

In Phoenix, you are not required to have any legal or financial training or qualifications. However, executors stand in a fiduciary relationship and must act with the highest degree of honesty, impartiality, and diligence.

What Should I Do If I Am Named an Executor in Phoenix?

Personal representatives carry significant responsibility and play a critical role in the administration of the estate. If you have been named as an executor, it can seem very overwhelming, especially because you are taking on this role at a time when you are dealing with the grief of losing a loved one. The first step that you should take is to reach out to a qualified Phoenix probate attorney.

An attorney will guide you through every step of the process. With an attorney, you can rest assured that the process will run smoothly and the estate will be closed as soon as possible. It is also important to have an attorney because an executor can be held personally responsible for any mistakes they make. An attorney will ensure that mistakes are not made, and if something does happen, they will assume responsibility.

Does an Executor Get Paid in Phoenix?

In Phoenix, an executor is entitled to payment for their services to the estate. If they want to get paid, they must provide proper notice and disclosure within 120 days of their appointment. Generally, compensation is based on a reasonable $25 to $50 hourly rate.

Often close relatives will not charge the estate for their services, especially if they are inheriting a substantial amount anyway.

Does the Person Named in the Will Have to Serve as Executor in Phoenix?

The individual named as the executor in a will can choose to accept or decline the position. If the will named an alternate, they could step up. Otherwise, the court will appoint someone else.

Your Phoenix Probate Attorney

The probate process can be complicated and overwhelming, especially when you are dealing with the loss of a relative. It is a smart idea to work with an experienced probate attorney. Nicole Pavlik Law Firm can help you navigate the probate process and ensure that the final wishes of your loved one are being realized. Call Nicole Pavlik Law Firm today at 602-635-6176 to schedule a free consultation and discuss your probate needs.