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What are the responsibilities of an executor?

When creating an estate plan, people have control over a variety of different details. They choose which of their loved ones will receive their assets. They identify who will care for their underage children.

They also select a person to manage their estate after they pass away. This person — known as the executor of the estate — has many different duties to uphold. What tasks might the executor perform?

7 duties of an executor

As they oversee an estate, executors may perform a variety of different tasks as they follow the instructions in the will. Some of these responsibilities include:

  • Filing the will with the court and filling out any additional paperwork for the court;
  • Notifying any relevant creditors of the death;
  • Inventorying the assets in the estate and managing those assets;
  • Paying any outstanding debts and necessary fees;
  • File a personal tax return for the deceased as well as estate and inheritance taxes if necessary;
  • Distribute the remaining assets to the beneficiaries according to the terms of the will;
  • Close the estate.

While performing these tasks, executors also have a responsibility to act in the interest of the estate and its heirs. If, while managing the estate, they make choices that benefit themselves instead of the estate and beneficiaries, they may face legal challenges.

Because of the variety of tasks involved in the administration of an estate, executors may want to seek experienced guidance as they navigate this process. The right financial and legal guidance can help executors uphold their responsibilities as they manage and distribute the assets in the estate. If you have any questions about this or any other estate planning or administration matter, contact Michelle Smith of our firm at 973-542-2766 ([email protected]).



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