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How To Be An Executor or Administrator of an Estate

Posted by Search Control on February 13, 2020

What to do when you become an executor or administrator of an estate?

Being in charge of a persons’ financials and personal matters after they die can be overwhelming. The more you understand the responsibilities of the executor or administrator, the better position you will be in to complete the process. The main difference between an executor and an administrator is, a will appointed the executor, and the courts appointed the administrator. Both the executor and administrator have very similar roles; below is a list of the top responsibilities. /

Submit the will to the court

To officially open the probate estate, you will be required to submit the will to the court so that it can be reviewed and accepted. If you do not know if there is a will, you should check with the persons’ attorney who will most likely have a copy. You can also check with the deceased’s bank to see if it is in a safe deposit box.

There will be a hearing that the executor or administrator must attend to determine if the will is valid and meets state law.

Identify the Assets

The executor must gather all the deceased assets and secure any valuable property. It is critical to secure any valuables in a safe spot, to prevent family members from taking it for themselves. Identifying the assets not only includes accounts, real estate, and personal property mentioned in the will, but also anything the deceased may have acquired since writing the will.

The executor must maintain any current assets, such as paying the mortgage, car loan, or home insurance policy, so they do not lapse.

Notify the beneficiaries and other parties.

The executor must notify all the named parties in the will. While close family members will be aware of the death, there may be people in the will that need to be officially notified. The executor also needs to cancel any credit cards, and newspaper subscriptions. Also, if they received social security benefits, the social security administration should be notified.

Pay off any liabilities

In addition to gathering the assets, the executor must identify any outstanding debts and have those paid by the estates’ funds. To not miss any potential obligations to creditors, the executor may be required to place an advertisement in the local newspaper.

The executor will set up a bank account and pay any of the liabilities out of that account so that the beneficiaries are not out-of-pocket for any expenses.

File any taxes

The executor must have the assets valued to determine if any final taxes will be due. Typically, the assets will be assessed based on the date of death or six months later. Based on the value of the assets, the estate may owe additional taxes. In addition to the value of the assets, the executors will need to file the deceased’s final tax return.

Closing the estate

Finally, the executor will file the final numbers based on the financial information gathered for approval. The filing will include all payments made on behalf of the estate. Once the court has approved the transactions, the executor will have permission to distribute the remaining assets of the estate in accordance with the will.