When someone asks you to serve as the executor of the estate, you may feel honored by the request and immediately say yes. However, this position comes with more responsibilities than you may realize. Before you agree to serve in this capacity, you should understand the job you will take on.
The executor of the estate performs all the necessary tasks to wrap up a person’s life.
Management of finances
According to SmartAsset.com, the executor handles all the finances for the estate. You will likely need to open a bank account dedicated to the estate. Employers and others may owe money to the deceased, and this money should go into the estate account. Additionally, you may need to sell some of the deceased’s property.
Sometimes, the deceased may leave debts behind. You usually need to put a notice in the newspaper so that these creditors learn about the death. You will then need to pay these debts with the money from the estate. Additionally, you will need to file income taxes for the deceased. If you are administering a large estate, you may also need to pay the estate taxes.
Management of the assets
The executor also has to create an inventory of all the assets. Many of these assets may be the personal belongings of the deceased. However, they may also include real estate and stocks. You will need to find all of them and collect them so that you can figure out the value of the estate. The will may specify which assets should go to certain people. You will need to contact these people so you can transfer the property to them. Sometimes, the deceased may not leave instructions about all of the assets. In this situation, the rest of the estate usually passes to a surviving family member.
As you consider whether to serve as the executor, you should consider whether you feel capable of managing these tasks.