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Responsibilities of the Executor of a Will

When a loved one dies, it’s a difficult time for everyone involved. It may be even more stressful if you are the executor of a will. Fortunately, if you follow a few simple steps, you will find the whole process to go a lot smoother.

1. File the Will

The first order of business when you are the executor of the will is to file the will. You will file the will with a local probate court. If the will is valid, then the court will grant you authority. You simply need to file a few forms, the will and provide the property list to the court to begin the probate process.

2. Inventory Assets

It is up to the executor to inventory all of the assets. You need to protect all of the assets and property so that you can carry out the decedent’s final wishes. If there are cars or collectibles, you may want to make sure that these items are insured.

3. Manage Debts

After a person dies, their debts do not automatically disappear. The executor will have to liquidate assets to pay off debts. The executor also needs to cancel any credit cards, cable services, utility bills and subscriptions. It’s also important to notify any professionals in the person’s life that they have passed away. You need to close all of the accounts that they have.

4. Distribute Property

To distribute property, you will most often rely heavily on the will. Dictate the property to the beneficiaries in the way that the will asks you. If there is any extra property, you may get to have an opinion on how it gets distributed between the beneficiaries. It is up to the executor to make sure that the wishes of the deceased are followed through with.

5. File Taxes

It is up to the executor to file any final taxes. Taxes can be overwhelming. Most people have high amounts of anxiety over their own taxes, much less filing taxes for deceased loved ones. If it is necessary, you can speak to an accountant to help you through the process of filing taxes.

Executing a will is a long process. Probate, is by no means, short. There is a lot of responsibility on the shoulders of executors. When you’re executing a will, it’s crucial that you know how the process works. For help and peace of mind, don’t be afraid to contact an estate planning lawyer in Memphis, TN for a consultation.

Thanks to Wiseman Bray, PLLC for their insight into estate planning and the responsibilities of an executor.



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