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Understanding the role of an executor

If you have been assigned the role of executor of an estate, you have certain responsibilities relating to this. You are likely committed to fulfilling all of the associated duties, but you may be worried that you are not fully informed of the responsibilities.

This is why it is important that you take the time to understand the authorities that you have as the executive on an estate and the actions that you have the responsibility to perform. The following are some of the main tasks that you will need to engage in.

Processing the will

The first thing you will need to do after the death of the decedent is to read through the will. You will need to make sure that you have obtained a copy of the decedent's latest will. You should carefully read the will and all instructions contained within, and ensure that you have clearly understood everything. After this, you will need to file a petition with the court to admit the will to probate.

Collecting assets

After you have admitted the will to probate, you will need to collect all of the decedent's assets. This will include consulting with banks to ensure that you have identified all accounts that are possessed by the decedent. You will need to create an inventory of all assets, including business interests, valuables, real estate property and personal property.

Settling debts

When assets have been collected, all debts will need to be settled. This includes filing tax returns and paying all bills owed. This must be done before any beneficiaries of the will can gain their inheritance. Any valid claims against the estate must also be paid, and any improper claims must be rejected.

If you have been selected as the executor of the estate of a person who has recently passed away, it's important that you are aware of the vast amount of responsibilities that you have. Make sure that you take action to conduct thorough research if you are unsure.

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