The Role Of The ‘Executor’ In A Will Probate In NJ

If someone has been named as an executor of a will in New Jersey, and a will probate takes place, the executor is legally required to be present for the probate process. An executor is someone who identifies and collects all the assets named in the deceased person’s will. They also ensure each asset is distributed as the deceased person intended. The executor will be involved in all stages, including tracking down the will, making funeral arrangements, identifying any beneficiaries, and acting as a legal representative of the estate in court. In this article, we will take a more detailed look at each step. 

Tracking The Will Down 

When someone passes away, the person they’ve chosen to be their executor must locate the will and all other relevant paperwork to ensure they have the most recent version of the will in their possession. If the executor can only track down a copy of the will, they must check with the deceased’s attorney to verify the copy and ensure it’s accurate and legally valid. 

Funeral Arrangements

Surviving families are usually the ones who make funeral arrangements, but if the deceased has specific instructions regarding their funeral, it’s the executor’s responsibility to ensure their instructions are carried out according to their wishes. An executor also usually oversees costs associated with the funeral, to be sure they are reasonable. 

Identifying Beneficiaries 

Beneficiaries are the people who receive assets named in the will, in accordance with the deceased’s instructions. The executor must locate all beneficiaries, provide them with a copy of the will, along with a notice stating that they will be acting as executor. 

Legal Representative Of The Estate In Court

If for any reason the will is contested, or if the authenticity of the will is brought into question, the executor will act as the legal representative of the estate in court. Executors often don’t have a legal background or legal experience, which is why we recommend speaking with an estate planning attorney if you find yourself in this particular situation. Acting as an executor is a big responsibility, and it’s important that the deceased’s wishes are carried out accurately and respectfully.

For more information about the role of the executor in a will probate in New Jersey, or if you have any estate planning questions, please contact our team at SCC Legal today. You could also visit our website at:


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