If you have been asked to serve as an executor to a relative’s or a friend’s will, you are tasked with tracking down the deceased’s belongings among other responsibilities. Usually, many people choose people they trust to execute their will. Therefore, once you are selected to run a will, you need to be sure of what to expect before you take up the responsibility. At this point, the services of an estate lawyer might come in handy.
Duties of an executor
An administrator is responsible for managing the finances of the deceased. Some of the responsibilities include managing business transactions and ensuring that debts and taxes are paid. Here is a list of other roles of an executor.
Obtain a copy of the will and file it in a local probate court
The administrator is charged with finding the will. Even if it is not necessary to take it through the probate procedure, the will must be filed in a probate court. Your estate lawyer will help you through the process. It is at this stage that the executor determines who will inherit the wealth.
Notify relevant parties of the decedent’s death
Conveying the information to relevant parties is important. They include government authorities, social security administration, banks and credit card companies.
Create a bank account for incoming funds and bills
In case the descendant has owned money such as dividends, thy can be deposited in this account. The executor should look out for bills such as utilities and mortgages. Such bills are payable during the probate process.
Evaluate the need for probate
Inheritance laws at times may allow passing of some properties without probate. One such circumstance is transfering business ownership to the deceased’s wife. Also, the worth of the property might allow passing it through and accelerated the process.
Dispose of some property
In case any property remains after distribution of the wealth to the heirs as required, the executor is allowed to dispose of it.
Manage the property until when it can be sold or distributed
All the properties owned by the deceased are left under the care of the executor. Whether it is a house or business, you need to maintain it until when it is distributed to the rightful heir. In case the principal had safety deposit containment, the executor should find it and store it safely.
Record the estate’s assets in court
Many states demand that the executor submits a detailed inventory of all assets during a probate estate. This makes it easier and faster to finalize the case.
Represent the estate in court
As an executor, you may have to appear in court as the estate’s representative.
Properties vary in complexity and size. The job of an administrator might be easy or challenging, depending on the property in question. Regardless of the complexity of the estate, hiring an estate lawyer will make the process easier for you.