What Are the Duties of an Executor?

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:


  1. Dealing with your remains
  2. Preserving, protecting and consolidating your assets
  3. Paying your creditors
  4. 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.


2. Preserving, Protecting and Consolidating Assets

    Take inventory of all assets, including cash, securities, jewelry, household goods and other valuables, real estate deeds, mortgages, insurance policies, documents and business interests.

    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.

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