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Discussing the duties of the executor

The executor of a will is one of the most important elements to anyone's estate plan. Naming an executor does not require you to name a lawyer or a financial expert to fill the role -- but it does require the person who is your estate's executor to uphold their duties as the executor with honesty and integrity. As such, you should think long and hard about who you want to name as your estate's executor.

Once you have your executor, what will this person be responsible for? There are numerous responsibilities the executor must take on and a bevy of tasks they must complete:

  • Two of the most important steps for the executor are finding the deceased person's assets and contacting the people named in the person's estate that stand to inherit money or assets. The executor must keep the assets that he or she finds safe until they can be properly administered.
  • The executor must complete some logistical steps for the estate. For example, they must complete any lingering matters from the deceased person's life, such as canceling credit cards and notifying the appropriate parties about the death -- such as the Social Security Administration if the deceased was collecting checks from them.
  • The executor must also make sure that any payments that must continue after the grantor's death do, indeed, continue. For example, the executor can use the estate's bank account to pay for the mortgage of the deceased's home. They must also pay any creditors that are owed, as well as clear up any income tax situations that may play a role with the estate.

Source: FindLaw, "What Does an Executor Do?," Accessed Aug. 4, 2017

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