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4 responsibilities of the executor of the estate

On Behalf of | Apr 10, 2024 | Estate Administration |

A testator can name someone close to them to settle their estate. This person is called the executor of the estate. 

If you were named an executor, it can help to create a checklist to help ensure your duties as an executor are fulfilled. Here are a few things to add to your list:

Locating the will and other important documents 

One of the main duties – if not the most important – as an executor of the estate is locating the testator’s will. The testator’s will can include their last wishes and instructions for how their assets should be managed. Once the will is located, you can submit it to the probate court to start the probate process. The probate process gives you time to complete the next steps as executor. 

Notify interested parties 

Often the next thing to do after locating the will is collecting multiple copies of the testator’s death certificates. These will likely be used to notify interested parties, such as banks and insurance companies of the testator’s passing. 

Complete financial affairs

Before the last step, you may need to pay off debts and taxes. Creditors may reach out to claim assets to resolve financial obligations. You may need to file the testator’s income taxes from the previous year. 

Distribute assets to beneficiaries 

Often the last step to settle an estate is distributing assets to beneficiaries. Just because it is the last step does not make it the easiest step. It may take some time to contact the beneficiaries of their inheritance. Their contact information may be provided with a will. The remaining assets after paying financial liabilities can then go to beneficiaries. 

There are a lot more duties that may need attending to before an estate is settled. To help ensure you are following your fiduciary duty to settle an estate, it may benefit you to reach out for legal guidance.