What does the executor of a will do?

The executor is the person you appoint to carry out the instructions of your will. The executor of a will collects all the assets of the estate, pays off the debts, and then distributes the assets of the estate according to the will. This distribution is called the administration of the estate. Your executor need not be an attorney, and may be able to administer the estate without an attorney, depending on the complexity of the estate and distribution. 

A good executor is one who will diligently and carefully handle the details of administering the probate of your estate for the benefit of your beneficiaries. Usually a close family member such as a spouse or child is named executor. However, you may name any trusted adult as executor. 

For more information, see: W. Va. Code §§ 44-1-1 to -15 (2015); Smith v. Hamer, 135 W. Va. 380, 64 S.E.2d 481 (1951); 8A Michie’s Jurisprudence Executors and Administrators §§ 2, 7-11 (2009); Wanda Ellen Wakefield, Annotation, Adverse Interest or Position as Disqualification for Appointment of Administrator, Executor, or Other Personal Representative, 11 A.L.R.4th 638 (1982).