We all know that executor duties are wide and varied. Executors have a general duty to administer the deceased’s estate and to distribute the estate to the beneficiaries named under the deceased’s last will and testament or, in the absence of a last will, to the deceased’s heirs in accordance with state intestacy laws. In carrying out this duty, an executor is obliged to act promptly and in the best interests of both the estate and the deceased’s beneficiaries or heirs.
An executor will also have several other duties. Typical executor duties include the following:
• to take possession of the deceased’s property;
• to manage, protect and preserve the estate;
• to prepare an inventory of all the probatable assets and property owned by the deceased at the time of death. This inventory should be prepared within a specific time frame, usually three months. The inventory should list each item of property together with its market value at the date of death of the deceased, as well as set out details of any encumbrances registered against the asset in question. Where market valuations have been carried out, details of the valuation agent used should also be included;
• to publish a creditor’s notice in a newspaper circulating in the county in which probate is filed once a week for three successive weeks. The notice should stipulate that the deceased has died, provide details of your appointment as executor and state that creditors of the deceased’s estate can present details of any claims they might have against the estate for a period of three months following the date of first publication. Once this period of time expires, creditors will no longer be able to take a claim against the estate;
• to decide which creditors’ claims should be allowed and which should be disallowed; and
• to pay allowed creditors’ claims in the following order:
– funeral expenses;
– costs and expenses associated with the administration of the estate;
– federal debts and taxes owed by the estate;
– medical expenses associated with the final illness of the deceased;
– state debts and taxes owed by the estate; and
– all other claims.
How Can EstateBee Help You?
For more information on executor duties, read some of the other articles on executors, executor duties and probate on this website.
Alternatively, check out our book How to Probate an Estate – A Step-By-Step Guide for Executors. This book explores the probate process from the moment the deceased passes away right through to the distribution of the estate assets. Items such as death certificates, autopsies, applying for probate, funeral planning, administering an estate, and asset management are discussed at length. It will show you how to initiate and close probate with ease, learn how to locate and manage estate assets, deal with creditors’ claims, taxes, & trusts, avoid the common mistakes made by many executors, personal representatives & administrators, and much more….
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