Both the executor of an estate and heirs or beneficiaries need to understand who takes care of estate assets during probate. Taking care of assets is the job of the executor of an estate. The executor must identify all assets that are part of the estate, do a complete inventory, make claims to recover funds owed to the estate and do everything else that is necessary to protect all of the assets.
The executor has a fiduciary duty (the highest duty owed under the law) to the heirs or beneficiaries to ensure that decisions that are made on asset management are made with a focus on the best interests of those who will inherit. An executor is not allowed to misappropriate estate assets for himself and cannot act in a way that would be a conflict of interest that could put his own goals at odds with what is best for the estate.