WHAT ARE MY DUTIES AS AN EXECUTOR?

Being the executor of an estate is not a task to take lightly. The executor is the person responsible for managing the administration of a deceased individual's estate. Even if you are the executor of a small estate, you will have important duties that must be performed correctly or you may be liable to the estate or the beneficiaries.

executor duties The following are some of the duties you may have to perform as executor:

  • Locate documents. Locate the original will, if there is one. If all you have is a copy of the will, you may need to get the original from the lawyer who drafted it. Order several certified copies of the death certificate.
  • Hire an attorney. You are not required to hire an attorney, but mistakes can cost you money. You may be personally liable if something goes wrong with the estate or the payment of taxes. An attorney can help you make sure all the proper steps are taken and deadlines met.
  • Apply for probate. File the Will, if there is one, with the probate court and apply to be appointed the personal representative. The court will issue Letters of Authority to you which are the court papers that permit you act as the official representative of the estate.
  • Notify interested parties. You must notify the heirs at law, all of the beneficiaries named in the will and all of the persons who would have inherited if there was no will.
  • Prepare an inventory of the assets. You will need to prepare a list of the deceased's assets and liabilities, and you may need to collect any property in the hands of other people.
  • Manage the deceased's property. One of the executor's jobs is to protect the property from loss, so you will need to assure the property is kept safe and is insured. You may also need to hire an appraiser to find out how much any property is worth. In addition, if the estate includes a business, you may have to make sure the business continues to run.
  • Pay valid claims by creditors. Once the creditors are determined, you will need to pay the deceased's debts from the estate's funds. The executor is not personally liable for deceased's debts.
  • File tax returns. You need to make sure the tax forms are filed within the time frame set under the law. Taxes may include estate taxes, final personal income taxes and estate income taxes.
  • Distribute the assets to the beneficiaries. Once the creditors' claims are clear, the executor is responsible for making sure the beneficiaries get what they are entitled to under the will or under the law, if there is no will. You may be required to sell property in order to fulfill legacies in a will. In addition, you may have to set up any trusts required by the will.
  • Keep accurate records. It is very important to keep accurate records of everything you do. You will need to create a final accounting, which will include any distributions and expenses as well as any income earned by the estate since the deceased died.
  • File the final account. Send it to beneficiaries for their approval and then file it with the court. Once the court approves the final account,the court will close the estate.

Contact the Bruce Favret Law Office today (513) 871-8076 to schedule your consultation. We can answer your questions and explain the law as it relates to your unique situation.

cincinnati ohio lawyerBruce Favret, Probate & Estate Planning Attorney At Law - Cincinnati Ohio. 
Schedule Appointment: (513) 871-8076