Estate planning is about preparing for what happens after you die. Because you will not be here to make your wishes known, you will create legal documents that state your wishes. However, even with those documents, there needs to be someone who can oversee and manage things to make sure that your wishes are carried out. While the court may have some authority, you will also name people to handle certain tasks. One of those people will be the executor of your estate.

According to SmartAsset, the executor of your estate has the job of making sure every heir receives his or her inheritance and also managing your estate. Your executor is also who begins the process of disbursing and settling your estate by submitting your will to the probate court. The court will then formally and legally appoint the executor, giving him or her the right to handle your estate.

This may include making financial decisions on behalf of the estate and paying debts, such as taxes, out of the estate funds. Your executor will also start notifying your heirs and begin transferring the property. This might include handling titles and other details to legally transfer the property from your name to your heirs. It might also involve other tasks, such as managing accounts until an heir is able to assume ownership.

Because estates vary so widely, there may be other duties that your executor will carry out. It depends on your needs and the estate as well as other people you have involved in the process who may also carry out some tasks, such as trustees.