Duties of an Executor

Collect Assets and Information:

  • Locate Will and file and/or probate in the Surrogate's office
  • Locate and inventory all of the assets of the Estate including:
    • Veteran's benefits social security benefits, pension benefits, stocks and bonds, automobiles, furniture, jewelry, and other possessions.
  • Obtain Death Certificate, life insurance claim forms, social security burial allowance (if applicable).
  • Assemble deeds, abstracts, lease contracts, and insurance policies for each piece of real estate.
  • Locate names and addresses of all heirs, legatees, devisees and next of kin

Determine Debts and other Claims against the Estate:

  • Determine current bills owed, doctor, hospital, rent etc.
  • Check decedent's charge accounts
  • Research other debts that exist, mortgage, life insurance loans, bank loans etc.
  • Obtain receipts for every bill paid and keep a record of payments
  • Publish legal notice against the estate in newspaper

Manage the Estate:

  • Set up an estate account
  • Register stocks, bonds; arrange for collection of dividends and interest
  • Have items of property appraised
  • Request allowance from court to support deceased's family
  • Determine and Pay all necessary Taxes:
  • Calculate value of estate and probable state and federal taxes
  • Determine if administrative expenses should be charged against income taxes or estate taxes
  • Prepare estate's income tax return in addition to the last income tax return of decedent
  • Decide how funds will be raised to pay taxes
  • Prepare inheritance tax returns
  • Prepare federal inheritance tax forms
  • Pay personal property or real estate taxes if necessary

Distribute the Estate:

  • Determine who is entitled to share in the estate
  • Determine how the assets will be distributed
  • Pay all final bills etc.
  • Transfer and reregister securities
  • Prepare detailed informal or formal account for court

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