Named An Executor Of Estate? Here Are Your Responsibilities

Posted on: 10 August 2016

Many responsibilities are involved after you have been designated as the executor of an estate. You need to be prepared for a great deal of paperwork before the process is completed. You will be responsible for passing any personal property designated by the will as well as paying any outstanding debts/expenses of the deceased. Continue reading for a full explanation of these duties.

Locate the Paperwork

You will need copies of the death certificate. The amount of copies needed should be doubled to ensure you don't have to wait for a reorder. Keep in mind you will need the certificate for life insurance, Social Security Administration, and many other reasons. You will also need to notify all banking accounts and credit card agencies as well as utility and mortgage companies concerning the deceased and his/her accounts.

The Will

Probate laws also can vary from state to state. A copy of the will needs to be filed with probate court within a few days and no longer than one month after the death. If you do have probate, you will also need to make a personal inventory. The probate might be avoided if a living trust is in place. If a living trust is in place, the money can be used immediately without a probate judge.

Open a Bank Account

You will need to have an estate banking account for any outgoing or incoming finances which need to be covered.

Pay the Bills

It is up to you to sort through the financial reports and documents left by the deceased person. Any outstanding debts or taxes should be paid by you before an amount can be delegated to the family or heirs. In many cases, the executor doesn't request payment, but it is provided by state laws.

Final Tax Returns

The executor is also responsible for filing the last income tax statement from the beginning of the year until the time of death. However, the tax returns are only required for large estates from the State and Federal government.

It is up to you, as the executor, to not allow anyone to remove any personal property from the home or financial accounts. If you don't know all of the current laws involved with executing an estate, you should hire a team of experts for the job. Laws change frequently, and you wouldn't want to be in trouble for something you missed during the process. Contact companies like Skeen Law Offices for more information or assistance.