When an individual is appointed to be the executor of an estate, they are entrusted with many duties and responsibilities. The executor is required to act for the estate using ordinary care and diligence. It is important, especially in estate planning, to know the difference between an executor of an estate and a power of attorney.
What Is The Difference Between An Executor Of An Estate vs Power Of Attorney?
It is important when it comes to estate planning to know the difference between an executor of an estate vs power of attorney. An executor is the individual who is responsible for managing all affairs of an estate of an individual who has died. A power of attorney is an individual selected and specified on a legal document that that individual has the authority to act for another individual in legal or financial matters.
What Is An Executor’s Responsibility With Estate Taxes?
The executor has a fiduciary duty to pay the estate’s taxes when there is enough money in the estate available to pay the taxes. Failing to pay an estate’s taxes even negligently is a breach of the executor’s fiduciary duty owed to the estate. If it is shown that the executor caused the estate to incur unnecessary taxes, then the executor may be charged for the part of the taxes that resulted from the executor’s action or negligence.
When an executor breaches a fiduciary duty, the executor may be personally liable for the consequences of that action. However, if the executor acted reasonably and in good faith, the court may excuse the breach.
What If There Is Real Estate Or Physical Property Involved With The Estate?
It is important to remember that an estate is not strictly limited to financial assets. There may be physical property involved with an estate as well. An executor of an estate must keep track of all property that is involved in an estate. The law may include real estate property, bank accounts, cash, and even stock or bond certificates as property of the Estate. Our firm, Lonich Patton Ehrlich Policastri can help with specifications for those who have estates or are executors of an estate in San Jose or Santa Clara County.
What Are My Next Steps As An Executor In San Jose?
Paying the federal and state income taxes on the estate, including for the year the creator of the estate passed away, are only one of the many duties owed to the estate by the executor. If you have been appointed an executor or have concerns with an estate’s executor based out of San Jose, please contact our office for a consultation with our estate planning attorneys. The attorneys at Lonich Patton Ehrlich Policastri offer free 30-minute consultations.
Please remember that each individual situation is unique, and results discussed in this post are not a guarantee of future results. While this post may detail general legal issues, it is not legal advice. Use of this site does not create an attorney-client relationship.