What Are Duties of the Executor of the Estate?

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The executor of a will collects the assets of an estate, pays outstanding debts and taxes, and ensures that those named in the will receive the property that the decedent specified they should have, according to DoYourOwnWill.com. The executor may also oversee investments of the estate.

The executor may need to research the assets of the deceased person, and he may need to sell assets such as real estate before finalizing the will, Forbes explains. He may need to navigate probate court to file the will, which most states require by law. He has to let government agencies such as the IRS know about the death of the person who wrote the will, and he likely needs to close bank, utility and other accounts.

The executor should open a bank account in the estate’s name to ensure clear documentation of assets and payment of final expenses such as funeral costs and tax obligations, Nolo reports. Because of the time, potential stress and level of responsibility involved, the need to choose a mature, trustworthy person as the executor of an estate is important. If the executor believes the job is complex, he may choose to hire an attorney to advise him when settling the estate.