An executor is the person named in a decedent’s last will and testament as the one who will administer the estate. If you are named as the executor of an estate and the probate court agrees to appoint you, you must collect and inventory the assets, pay the debts, taxes and the expenses of administration, and then distribute the remaining assets to those persons entitled to them. As executor, you must present an accounting of your activities to the beneficiaries and the court.

Get started Start Your Last Will and Testament Answer a few questions. We'll take care of the rest.


Estate administration can be a big job depending upon the size of the estate, and involves a mixture of legal, administrative, accounting, and often personal mediation skills. Most estates are finalized within 6 months of the executor’s appointment, but depending on the complexity of the estate administration, it can take much longer. Within those 6 or more months, the job requires a considerable amount of time and energy. It may be necessary or advisable to hire an attorney to assist you.

For more details on executor responsibilities, read our Executor Checklist and Estate Administration Guide.

Get started Start Your Last Will and Testament Answer a few questions. We'll take care of the rest.