Executor Responsibilities

An executor is responsible for managing the estate of a deceased person in accordance with the probate rules and procedures of the state where the probate takes place. We talked about some of the main responsibilities in Chapter 1, but be aware there may in particular cases be various others.

A summary of the executor’s main responsibilities include the flowing tasks:
* locating the will;
* checking its validity;
* filing an application for probate in the probate court Registry. If the estate is worth less than a certain amount (dependent on state law) * * formal probate may not be required;
* notifying beneficiaries listed in the will;
* drafting and arranging publication of a notice of the deceased’s death and sending a copy of the notice (by mail) to each creditor that the executor knows of;
* sending copies of the deceased’s official death notice to the post office, utility companies, banks and credit card companies;
* collecting, securing and inventorying assets; and then having them appraised and valued;
* collecting all moneys owing to the estate;
* if the deceased was employed, checking with employer as to unpaid salary and benefits;
* filing for outstanding social security, civil service, veteran and other benefits;
* filing claims for life insurance benefits;
* filing state death tax and federal estate tax returns;
* paying out valid and proven claims against the estate;
* distributing all remaining assets to the beneficiaries;
* filing all relevant papers with the probate court to wind up the estate; and
* closing probate.


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Executors Guide to Probate

How To Probate An Estate - A Step-By-Step Guide for Executors


This book is essential reading for anyone contemplating acting as an executor of someone’s estate! Learn about the various stages of probate and what an executor needs to do at each stage to successfully navigate his way through to closing the estate and distributing the deceased’s assets.

Published December 2010

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