Things You Need To Do As An Estate Executor
Creating a will can be a complex process. This is why allowing legal professionals to assist you in the will creation process is so important. Naming an estate executor is one of the most important decisions a person will make when drafting a will. The executor of an estate is the person responsible for carrying out the wishes laid out in an individual’s will.
Nearly 33 percent of Americans currently have an estate plan in place. If an individual with one of these plans passes, it is up to the estate executor named in their will to do things like distributing property/assets. Are you curious about what your role as an estate executor will entail? If so, check out the useful information below.
Start By Finding the Will Or Trust
When you are informed that you are the executor of an estate, you will need to locate the will or trust documents. In most states, you will have to file a copy of these documents with the probate court within a month of a person’s death. However, if the person who has passed had a living trust established, you might be able to avoid probate altogether.
Assets that are put into a living trust can be disbursed immediately without the approval of a probate court. If a person does not have a living trust, a probate judge will decide on the distribution of assets.
Probate can last up to two years, which is why a living trust is a good idea. Establishing a living trust of your own will be easy with the help of a legal professional. With the establishment of this trust, you can make life easier for your loved ones when you pass away.
Pay the Taxes and Debts of the Deceased Person
Any income and estate taxes that a deceased person leaves behind will have to be paid by the executor of their estate. However, if a deceased person’s debts outweigh their liabilities, inheritors will not be required to cover them.
Before an executor pays any debts, they need to check to see if the assets in question can cover them. A judge will usually prioritize creditors if the assets in an estate can cover all of their liabilities.
Obtain The Death Certificate
As the executor of an estate, you are responsible for the burial and funeral arrangements. The cost of these arrangements will be covered by the estate. Having a copy of the death certificate is crucial when trying to perform certain tasks as an estate executor. When notifying banks, investment firms and the Social Security Administration of a person’s passing, you will have to produce a death certificate.
When filing a person’s final tax return, you will need a copy of their death certificate. Ordering twice as many copies of the death certificate as you think you’ll need will help to make performing the tasks mentioned above much easier.
By following these tips, you can take on your new role as estate executor with confidence.