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What to expect from an executor as a beneficiary

After the passing of a loved one, you may wonder what will happen to his or her estate. If the party has a will and proper estate plan in place, the executor will handle the administration of the estate.

This is an important role that plays a vital part in the estate, so it can be beneficial to understand more about the party. As a beneficiary of the estate, you should know about and expect a few things from the executor. 

Letters Testamentary

An estate holder designates an executor within the estate plan. Once the court verifies the legitimacy of the state plan, the court then issues letters testamentary to the executor. In short, it is an official designation as executor by the court that allows the party to manage the estate and complete the probate process.


The executor has to notify heirs and beneficiaries of his or her position within three months of the estate holder's passing. The executor may also need to run an ad in a local paper declaring his or her "letters" to ensure the notice of all creditors and heirs.

Estate distribution

The executor has six months to prepare an inventory of the estate and submit a prediction on the number of assets that need to go towards any debts the deceased party may have. Once the executor receives court approval, he or she must begin the probate process, which consists of paying off all debts before distributing the remainder of the estate. This process may include additional steps if the situation involves unique assets, such as if the party divorces or owns a business.

As a beneficiary, you have a right to know what is going on with the estate. If you suspect the estate holder is not fulfilling his or her duties properly, it may be possible to seek the removal of the executor through the court.

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