If you have agreed to serve as the executor over someone’s estate, there are numerous duties you will have to perform. While each state has its own probate laws that direct how executors must act, here are several of the main duties that you are likely to encounter as you go about the probate process.
Collect the assets.
The estate settlement process is all about getting a deceased person’s property to new owners. To begin this process you will have to account for every piece of property the decedent owned. This includes real estate and personal property, as well as investments and other probate assets.
Manage the property.
Probate can take a long time, and during that time it is the executor’s responsibility to manage the property until it can be distributed to new owners. You might, for example, have to make mortgage payments on the deceased person’s home, as well as ensure that regular maintenance and upkeep is performed so the assets do not depreciate in value.
File the will.
It is generally the executor’s responsibility to find the deceased person’s last will and testament and file it with the local probate courts. While probate is not always required in every case, you may have to file the will with the probate court regardless.
Pay the bills.
Executors have to pay any estate creditors with estate property. So, if the deceased person left behind, for example, credit card debt, you will have to ensure that it is paid with estate funds.
The Law Office of Michael Robinson, P.C. is a member of the American Academy of Estate Planning Attorneys.