That's A Big Responsibility: 3 Things You'll Have To Do As Executor Of An Estate

Posted on: 13 July 2016

If someone has asked you to be the executor of their estate, it's not something you should take lightly, especially if you're not sure what the job entails. Your basic obligations will be to make sure that the proceeds from the estate are distributed in accordance with the will. That's the short answer. The long version of what your responsibilities will be is somewhat more complex. Here are three responsibilities you'll have if you accept the calling to be executor of the will.

File a Copy of the Will with the Probate Court

As the executor of the will, your first order of business will be to file a copy of the will with the probate court. Even if the will does not need to proceed through probate, it will still need to be filed with the courts. This will ensure that that the courts are aware of the actions that are being taken in regards to the estate. Once you have a copy of the will, you will also have to determine how the assets are to be divided amongst the beneficiaries.

Make Formal Notification of the Death

As executor of the will, you will need to notify all banks, creditors and government agencies regarding the decedent – person who passed away. Banks and creditors will need to be notified so that they can close accounts and make claims against the estate for any money that's owed. The Social Security Administration will need to be informed so that they can process a death-benefit payment to the next-of-kin. If the decedent was receiving social security benefits at the time of their passing, the Social Security Administration will also cancel all future benefit payments.

Set Up a Special Bank Account

Once the decedent's bank account is closed, you'll need to open a special account that will hold additional assets that might come in to the estate, such as final paychecks. This account will also be used to continue paying mortgage payments or other payments that will need to be paid during the probate process.

If you've been asked to be the executor of a will, you need to make sure you understand the duties that you'll be required to carry out. If you have other questions or concerns about the responsibilities involved in being the executor of a will, be sure to sit down and discuss your concerns with an estate planning attorney