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What the executor of an estate does

On Behalf of | Apr 21, 2020 | Estate Planning, Estate Planning & Probate

If your parent or other loved one has recently passed, and you are now the executor of the estate, you may be wondering what you need to do. In a sentence, the executor of an estate ensures that the estate of the decedent pays off any debts or creditors. While it may seem simple, there is a lot more to the task.

In addition to paying any remaining utility or medical bills, an executor must handle the tasks set by any wills and trusts. The list of what to do can be extensive, and it helps to know what you are getting in to.

The tasks ahead

An attorney can be an excellent resource in completing all of the tasks ahead. They can guide you through the many obligations an executor has, including:

  • Gathering the most recent copy of any wills, and determining what are its instructions
  • Assembling all of the assets that the decedent owned
  • Contacting banks, insurance policies, relevant utilities, and retirement policyholders of the decedent’s passing
  • Begin the probate process
  • Appraise the value of the estate
  • Pay any claims that are against the estate
  • File taxes for the decedent

Settling an estate can take weeks or months to complete, even more than a year. The length it takes to complete these tasks depends on the experience the executor has in these matters, or the leadership an attorney can offer.

This can be a team effort

An executor of an estate does not need to wander through the process on their own. With the assistance of an experienced attorney, an executor can complete their obligation with little to no worry at all.