Executor of a Will

Back to Our Services

What is an Executor? 

If someone dies with a will, the will should appoint an executor. The executor is the personal representative of the person who died. Since the person who wrote the will has passed, she can no longer manage her assets and debts. What this means is that the executor is in charge of:

  • Handling that person’s affairs
  • Administering the estate
  • Resolving creditor claims, and
  • Distributing the person’s assets to the beneficiaries named in the will.

The executor is nominated by a will, but is officially appointed by the Court. In most circumstances, the executor must obtain Letters Testamentary from the probate court in order to perform most acts. This executor gains these letters through filing a petition with the probate court to be officially appointed.

Gather the Assets of the Deceased and Make an Inventory

Duties of the Executor of an Estate

The executor has numerous duties and responsibilities while serving in this role. Below is a general outline of the things the executor must do to administer the estate. The executor should discover and identify what assets the decedent had at her death, how they are titled, and make sure they are secure.

Who Should You Name as Executor of Your Will?

Most people typically name a close family member or friend to serve as executor. A close family member of the deceased generally is more familiar with the assets of the decedent and knows her wishes. This choice is best for most individuals. However, sometimes naming a family member as executor can create resentment among other family members who may not have the best relationship with that person. For example, if you are in a second marriage and name your spouse as executor over your estate to the exclusion of your son or daughter from prior relationship, that situation may cause resentment. Of course, you could always name co-executors, but generally we advise you only name co-executors if you are confident that the co-executors will have a good working relationship. Otherwise, a neutral executor such as a bank, trust company, or a lawyer may be the best option. Be aware that if you do name a bank or lawyer, they will likely charge a fee for their services. Consequently, you should carefully consider who you want to be your executor, especially if there is a possibility of conflict in the family.

Reach Out To Estate Attorney John Crow For Help

If you were recently appointed as the executor of a will it is likely you have many questions about how to handle probate. We are here to help. We understand that the estate administration process can be difficult and confusing. We can help make sense of it. Give estate attorney John Crow a call today at his Clarksville or Hopkinsville office for assistance with your duties as executor.

[1] There are exceptions to this rule. For example, your medical power of estate planning attorney has the authority to order an autopsy or determine your tombstone heading, absent any other instruction.

    Never share sensitive information (credit card numbers, social security numbers, passwords) through this form.. This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

    Latest News

    View all posts

    Hear From Our Clients

    Marshall P

    Mr Crow and his staff are amazing! Especially the person assigned to my account, so a special thank you to Callie! Callie answered all of my questions and set expectations during a very confusing time in my life. Mr Crow and his team worked diligently with my specific situation and were very results driven. I would recommend Crow Estate Planning and Probate to anyone looking for an estate or probate attorney.

    Benny H

    Today my wife and I completed (at Crow Estate Planning and Probate) our Will, Living Will, Power of Attorney for Finance and Medical. As a Tennessee CPA for over 20 years (now retired), I’d like to leave this review so that others may benefit. Our experience rating with with Crow Estate Planning and Probate is EXCELLENT. Our legal team was Kyle Shannon, Callie and Julia. This team was competent, courteous, and professional. They made a potentially complex experience “easy” despite multiple minor trusts involved. The charge for professional services rendered was very reasonable. My wife (Denise) and I would like to thank Kyle and his team (Callie and Julia) for a great experience that exceeded our expectations. I will return for legal needs and I will refer family and others to Kyle, Callie and Julia.

    Vic H

    I’m very grateful to Mr. Shannon and Callie for the great job they did taking care of my muniment of title. Everyone in Mr. Shannon’s office was exceedingly kind and helpful.

    Lisa M

    They are caring, very helpful and not too expensive. I would recommend them to anyone that wants to plan for their future death and their children.

    Ken A

    Crow Estate Planning was caring, professional and took great care of our family. John personally prepared my mother’s estate and completed her final wishes. Their staff was always friendly and eager to assist. Our family strongly recommends John and Crow Estate Planning

    Amanda H

    Mr. Crow and his staff were very knowledgeable, prompt and pleasant to work with in the estate planning process. Very satisfied clients and highly recommend!

    Nick D

    Working with Kyle Shannon and Brittney Stewart to setup our Living Trust was nothing short than amazing! Very informative, very responsive, and made the whole process easy to complete.

    Todd K

    It was an absolute pleasure to work with Kyle establishing my Estate planning needs. Kyle was very thorough and knowledgeable. Kyle’s understanding and professionalism made for a simple and smooth process. Highly recommended!

    George D

    Be far the best estate planning firm in Clarksville.

    Marc M

    Warmly greeted. Attorney was very attentive to our needs. Reasonable fees.

    Our Locations


    512 Madison St Suite A, Clarksville, TN 37040, USA


    1503 16th Ave S,
    Nashville, TN 37212, USA


    203 E 9th St,
    Hopkinsville, KY, 42240 USA