Bercik Law Blog

EXECUTOR DUTIES – WHAT ARE THE DUTIES OF AN EXECUTOR?

Executor Duties #1 –  Collect Assets and Information.

The executor is in charge of locating, reading and understanding the will and filing and/or probating it in the Surrogate’s office in the county where the deceased last resided.

Next, he/she must find and inventory all the assets of the estate including;

  • veteran’s benefitsexecutor duties - berciklaw.com
  • social security benefits
  • pension benefits
  • real estate
  • bank accounts
  • stocks and bonds
  • automobiles
  • furniture
  • jewelry
  • other possessions.

She must obtain the death certificate, life insurance claim forms, and social security burial allowance (if applicable).

An executor must also locate the names and addresses of all heirs, beneficiaries, legatees, devisees and next of kin.

Executor Duties #2 – Determine Debts and other Claims against the Estate. 

An assessment of the current bills due is required including doctor, hospital, rent, mortgage and charge accounts.

An executor must obtain receipts for every bill paid and keeps a record of payments. Publishing a legal notice in newspaper notifying creditors is helpful.

Executor Duties #3 – Manage the Estate.

This includes setting up an estate account for incoming funds and paying any ongoing bills. Also, the executor must register stocks, bonds and arrange for the collection of dividends and interest.

Managing the estate includes appraising the property and calculating the value of the estate. The estate must also file final income tax returns from the first of the current year until the date of the decedent’s death.

If the estate is large enough, there may be state and/or federal estate taxes to pay as well as inheritance tax returns.

Executor Duties #4 – Distribute the Estate.

Distribution occurs according to the wishes expressed in the will. The Executor must determine who is entitled to share in the estate and how the assets will be distributed.

Prior to final distributions, all final bills must be paid, transfer and reregister securities, and, if necessary for larger and more challenging estates, prepare a detailed, informal or formal account for court.

Executor Duties – Have You Been Named An Executor?

Do you have more questions about the duties required of an Executor?  Please call us at 732-483-6300.  We’ll be glad to answer your questions and help you understand your executor duties.

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