What Are the Duties of an Executor?
Everyone has their own kind of property. As such, the duties of a deceased’s executor will vary. In general, however, executors are responsible for:
- Dealing with your remains
- Preserving, protecting and consolidating your assets
- Paying your creditors
- Distributing your assets in accordance with the terms of your Will
The following is not a comprehensive list of responsibilities, but it will give you something to start with. To learn more about their duties, executors should consult a lawyer.
1. Dealing with your Remains
• Locate and read the Will.
• Make funeral arrangements, if necessary.
• Consult business associates and family members of the deceased to become familiar with his or her assets.
• Communicate with anyone who might have a legitimate interest in the estate.
• Consult a lawyer familiar with estate administration to provide advice on executor’s liability.
• Ensure there is proper insurance on all real estate, automobiles and other property.
• Ensure that all vacant real estate is maintained, secured and supervised.
• Arrange for valuing of household goods, art objects, collections, furniture, automobiles, jewelry and other personal effects.
• Review the particulars of insurance policies, pension plans and other work benefits, including amounts, benefits, terms, and beneficiaries.
3. Paying the Deceased’s Creditors
• Advertise for creditors in newspapers.
• Make sure all claims are valid and make payment.
• Pay any bank or private loans, mortgages and business liabilities.
• Review divorce judgments and separation agreements to determine any amounts owed for child or spousal support, or other such payments.
• Prepare income tax return for the portion of year up until date of death, and any unpaid period.
• Pay income and other taxes and obtain tax clearance.
• Keep beneficiaries informed of all payments.
4. Distributing Estate Assets
• Distribute assets according to terms of the Will.