Only the most trusted and responsible family members or friends can expect to be appointed as the executor of a will. While you may be flattered and honored to be chosen, you are also likely confused about exactly what being an executor encompasses. For this important duty to be carried out property, you must take care to handle all issues pertaining to the deceased's estate and ensure that their wishes are acted upon. Read on to find out the 8 major duties of an executor.
1. Important Documents
As soon as possible after the death, you must carry out a thorough search for the following vital documents, some of which will be needed to plan the burial.
2. Funeral Plans
Work with the family (the the rest of the family if you are a member) to plan the burial and funeral according to the deceased's wishes. You are responsible for ensuring that funds are made available for these duties by using:
Life insurance policy
Checking or saving account funds.
3. The Will
Locate and become familiar with the decedent's wishes. Once the will has been "probated", you will be responsible for the distribution of assets according to the will. You may begin to consider how certain items are to be distributed or sold and divided, but the actual passing of ownership must await the final probate order.
Ensure that the will is filed with your county probate office by your attorney. After presenting the will for filing to the probate attorney, become apprised of any other duties required of the executor. The will (or notice of its filing) will published in a local newspaper to give notice to any potential creditors.
Consult with the estate attorney about which bills to pay and when, since some need to paid during probate, and some must wait for the probate to be final.
6. Income Taxes
One of the major responsibilities of the executor, and actually a major function of probate, is to ensure the income taxes are filed and paid. Probate cannot be complete without this act.
7. Social Security
The Social Security Administration encourages recipients to use direct deposit for the monthly payments, which means that payments quickly deposited into accounts. Timely notification to the SSA will help avoid having to re-pay any over-payments.
8. Death Certificates
Original, certified copies of the death certificate should be provided to banks, Medicare, insurance companies, credit card companies, and more.
Consult with a probate or estate attorney (like those at Weathers Law Firm, LLC) for more information about the duties of an executor.
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