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