After the passing of a loved one, a relative or close friend may find themselves as the executor of the decedent’s estate. This task is not something that anyone hears about in school, so what does it mean to be the executor? There are a lot of things to do in a small amount of time, meaning the executor needs to act fast in their responsibilities.
If an executor handles an estate poorly, or if things go wrong, it can cost the executor in both time and money. With a duty to the decedent, it pays to know what an executor needs to do.
The duty of the executor
The list of things to do as an executor is long. It includes complex tasks such as:
- Establish a bank account for the estate
- Maintain any property insurance
- File any related taxes
- Track down and close any utilities and insurance policies
- Initiate any related death benefits from insurers
- Apply for survivor benefits
- Execute the will
- Pay any remain debts, including taxes and bills
- Distribute assets of the estate according to the will’s specifications
- Alert related parties of the decedent’s passing
If an executor overlooks or mishandles any of these steps or any others, it can take months or longer to rectify a mistake and cost considerable amounts of money for the executor and the family of the decedent.
How to get help
If you have found yourself as an executor for an estate, know that you do not have to take on this responsibility alone. Estate and probate attorneys can take care of the lion’s share of this work to help resolve the needs of an estate quickly and efficiently.