If you’re the executor of an estate, you have plenty of responsibilities. You need to gather and inventory assets, pay debts and expenses, and distribute property and belongings. It’s a big responsibility. And it’s not one most people take lately.

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So how do you prove to banks, courts, and estranged relatives that you’re legally allowed to act as the executor for an estate?

With a Letter of Testamentary.

A Letter of Testamentary -- sometimes called a “Letter of Administration” or “Letter of Representation” -- is a document granted by a local court. The document simply states that you are the legal executor for a particular estate and that you have the ability to act as such.

Generally, a Letter of Testamentary, along with a legally binding death certificate, are the two documents you’ll need to do the real estate transactions, banking, and asset distribution you were appointed to do.

Keep in mind that a Letter of Testamentary is not available online and must be obtained in person. Often, you’ll need to take the official will, also known as a last will and testament, and death certification to your city hall or a local court to obtain one. Also, know that banks and other institutions will sometimes want to keep your Letter of Testamentary, so make sure you get multiple certified copies, just in case. 

Get started Start Your Last Will and Testament Answer a few questions. We'll take care of the rest.

Get started Start Your Last Will and Testament Answer a few questions. We'll take care of the rest.