When someone passes away, their estate needs to be managed properly. This can be done by an executor. An executor is someone who is appointed by the deceased person’s will to manage their estate. Executors are responsible for carrying out the deceased person’s wishes and ensuring that their assets are distributed according to their will. If you have been appointed as an executor, there are many duties that you need to be aware of. In this article, we will discuss the ultimate guide to executor duties so that you have a better understanding of what is expected of you.
Before we dive into the executor duties, it’s essential to understand who can be an executor. Generally, anyone who is over the age of 18 can be an executor. However, there are a few exceptions. You cannot be an executor if you are bankrupt or convicted of certain crimes.
Now let’s get into the executor duties:
1. Obtain a grant of probate
The first step for an executor is to obtain a grant of probate. This legal document gives the executor the authority to manage the estate. To obtain it, the executor needs to apply to the relevant court and provide the necessary documents.
2. Identify and locate the deceased person’s assets
As an executor, you need to identify and locate all of the deceased person’s assets. This includes bank accounts, property, investments, and personal belongings. It’s essential to take an inventory of everything and keep it updated throughout the probate process.
3. Pay off any debts
Before any assets can be distributed to beneficiaries, any debts must be paid off. This includes the deceased person’s bills and taxes.
4. Distribute the assets according to the will
Once all debts have been paid off, the executor can distribute the assets according to the deceased person’s will. It’s essential to ensure that the assets are distributed correctly to avoid any legal problems in the future.
5. File tax returns
As an executor, you need to file tax returns for the deceased person’s estate. This includes income tax returns and estate tax returns.
6. Keep accurate records
Throughout the probate process, it’s essential to keep accurate records of everything. This includes all financial transactions, communications with beneficiaries, and any important decisions made.
7. Communicate with beneficiaries
As an executor, you need to communicate with the beneficiaries of the estate. This includes providing updates about the probate process and answering any questions they have.
In conclusion, being an executor is not an easy task. It requires a lot of time, effort, and attention to detail. However, by following the ultimate guide to executor duties, you can ensure that you carry out your responsibilities correctly and efficiently. If you have any questions or concerns, it’s always best to seek legal advice from a professional.