An executor is the person you designate to carry out your wishes after your death, as per the provisions in your last will and testament. He or she handles your estate, pays off debts, and distributes property to your beneficiaries. Because of the personal nature of estate administration, and the need to understand and deal with family situations, your executor should be someone you trust. However, since he or she will also be dealing with a lot of legal and financial issues, your executor should also be skilled in financial and logistical matters and be able to handle the obligations of of an executor. These executor duties include:

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  • Gathering Assets: Once the executor has been appointed, his/her first substantial task is to collect and inventory the assets that are subject to probate. This includes reviewing records, determining which assets are subject to probate, taking physical custody of probate assets, valuing the property, and filing an inventory listing.
  • Payment of Debts and Expenses: Before making distributions to the beneficiaries, the executor must determine what debts and expenses should be paid. The executor is also responsible for resolving claims, paying executor and attorney fees, filing death tax returns, and filing other tax returns. To pay these various costs, the executor may have to liquidate assets.
  • Distribution of Assets: After the debts and expenses, including taxes, have been paid, the executor needs to make proper distribution of the remaining assets. This is done through distributions to beneficiaries and establishing trusts.



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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.