Tips in Simplifying the Job of an Executor of Will

Executor Of Will

Your task as an executor of estate can be significantly simplified if you are organized. The following tips will likewise help you make your task a lot less complicated.

1. Get the Death Certificate.

You have to arrange funeral and burial services and settling each cost using the estate. You also have to get some copies of the death certificate because you have to send some copies to offices such as the life insurance, social security, and financial accounts if applicable. Copies are also required when filing the final tax return.

2. Locate the Will of trust.

Find out where the Will is kept and obtain it. File a copy for the probate court. See to it that you file the necessary paperwork in the probate court few days after or one month after the death. If the deceased had a living trust, you may be able to skip the probate as long as the trust was properly set up. Trust assets can be settled a day after the death even without the court’s approval.

3. File letters testamentary.

Check on your state laws to determine if the estate needs to go through probate. If it is needed, the probate court will confirm your legal appointment as the executor with surrogate certificates or letters of testamentary. These are legal papers verifying your authority to act on behalf of the decedent. Your responsibilities include: managing and distributing assets, filing tax returns, paying bills and debts, opening or closing bank accounts, and dealing with beneficiaries.

4. Locate and protect assets.

Find out if the decedent made a detailed list of his or her assets and where to find them all. Also, find out if there are prepared copies of funeral plans, investment accounts, bank accounts, insurance documents, real properties, and trusts. If all these things are available, your task will surely become a lot easier. But, if the deceased did not prepare any list, the attorney who prepared the Will will, most often than not, prepare the list of the assets.

5. Pay taxes and bills.

You are responsible for paying the deceased debts. But before doing so, see to it that all assets can cover all debts. You have to figure out the account of the deceased’s debts, monthly bills, and any incoming money if he or she did not keep a detailed record of all of these. You can begin going through his or her checkbook. Look for financial statements, deeds, contracts, and tax returns for clues.

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