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 tips below will also guide you in performing your responsibilities with much ease.

1. Get the Death Certificate.

You are responsible for arranging the funeral and burial and pay for every cost needed. You need to obtain several copies of the death certificate since you need to send a copy to the office of social security, life insurance, financial accounts (if applicable). You also need another copy when filing the final tax return.

2. Locate the Will of trust.

Know where the Will is stored then obtain it. You need a copy of it for the probate court. Be sure that you file the needed documentation in the probate court several days or a month after the death. You may be able to cross out the probate court from your list if the deceased had a living trust. 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’s still required, the court will confirm your legal appointment as the personal representative with letters of testamentary, also referred to as surrogate certificates. These are legal papers verifying your authority to act on behalf of the decedent. Your responsibilities are but not limited to: dealing with potential heirs, opening or closing bank accounts, managing and distributing the assets, filing tax returns, and paying debts and bills.

4. Locate and protect assets.

Find out if the deceased prepared a detailed list of all his assets and where to find each. Find out as well if they are copies of bank accounts, trusts, insurance papers, investment accounts, bank accounts, and funeral plans. These will make your task a lot easier. However, if the deceased did not prepare a list, the attorney who prepared the Will will in most cases, prepare the listing of all assets.

5. Pay taxes and bills.

You are expected to settle the debts of the deceased. But prior to settling any debts, make sure that the assets are able to cover all of them. You need to find the account of his or her monthly bills, debts, and any money coming in if he or she did not keep a detailed record of these things. You can start with the checkbook. I will give you a record of deposits and bills. Look for financial statements, deeds, contracts, and tax returns for clues.

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