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What Does An Executor Of Will Do?

Executors are a vital component of estate planning. Anyone who creates a will must consider who they will choose to be the executor. As the title suggests, an executor executes the final wishes of the deceased as authorized by the official will. If you’re creating a will, you might be looking to learn more about executors and what to know when choosing one. Or maybe you’ve been asked to be an executor of someone’s will but aren’t sure of all the responsibilities that come along with it. Either way, continue reading or contact a Des Moines Wills Lawyer today for more information.

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Whoever you pick as an executor needs to be approved by the courts. Compared to other states, Iowa has pretty lenient rules when it comes to who can be an executor of someone’s will. They’re usually a family member or a close friend, so they don’t need to be an attorney or another professional official.

An executor can be anyone that the testator (the person creating a will) chooses; the only set rules are that they must be at least 18 years old and of sound mind. Most states don’t allow felons to be executors of wills, but an executor in Iowa can have a felony charge as long as they are found suitable in every other capacity. They should be someone the testator trusts wholeheartedly.

You can also choose an alternative executor in case the person you originally chose either can’t perform their duties or doesn’t want to. You should inform the executor before finalizing the will so that they can be prepared before the probate process begins.


The executor’s main task is to distribute a deceased person’s funds according to their will. They’ll need to probate the will in court first, which is when the court validates the will and oversees the distribution of assets. While executing a will can be a daunting task, probate serves to guide executors through the proper process. In Iowa, probate isn’t required for small estates or a will that already establishes the beneficiaries. Other duties performed by the executor include:

  • Notifying creditors, credit card companies, insurance companies, government agencies, and more of the testator’s date of death
  • Gathering and maintaining all assets of the estate, including collecting money owed to the testator
  • Setting up a separate bank account for the estate funds
  • Paying off the testator’s debts
  • Locating the beneficiaries and distributing the proper assets to them

While acting as an executor of a will can be a daunting responsibility, you can seek help from professionals to help you complete your duties.

If you are in the process of establishing or executing a will, you might want to speak with an estate lawyer for legal guidance. Herting Law PLLC is here to provide all of the quality legal counseling you desire. Contact us today for an initial consultation with one of our highly experienced attorneys.

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