If a family member asks you to be the executor of an estate, you may immediately agree. However, the position comes with many responsibilities. You need to understand each duty so you know whether you are up to the task.
The executor of the estate is the person who helps wrap up everything people leave behind when they die. According to Smart Asset, the executor is in charge of carrying out the terms of the will. This means you will have to go to a probate court and make sure a clerk files the will. You cannot administer the estate until you take this step.
As the executor, it is your job to contact all the beneficiaries of the deceased. You may send letters to people or visit them in person. You also have to distribute the assets according to the terms of the will. This part of the process may be difficult if the beneficiaries do not agree with the will. However, it is your job to follow the instructions of the will, regardless of what the beneficiaries think.
People may leave many financial matters behind when they die. You have to make sure that the debts and loans of the deceased get paid off. The estate usually pays these expenses. You will have to figure out how much the estate is worth by adding up the values of each asset. You may need to calculate the value of the assets before you distribute them to the beneficiaries.
The deceased will likely owe income tax for his or her last year of life. You will have to file these taxes. You may also need to pay the estate taxes if the estate is a large one. The money for both of these taxes comes from the estate. Additionally, you may need to close credit cards and bank accounts for the deceased.