Experiencing grief after the death of a loved one happens to most people. During this time, it can seem difficult to move forward with everyday activities and with life in general. You likely know that, with time, you will once again have the ability to carry out your daily routine and remember your loved one fondly once the newness of the loss has worn off.
However, even during your time of grief you may have many tasks that need attending to, especially if you hold the position of executor of the estate. As executor, you have many responsibilities that will need addressing soon after your loved one's passing, and the probate and estate administration process could carry on for some time. Whether you accepted the role beforehand or found yourself caught off guard by the appointment, you may want to know more about your duties.
A person can name another individual as executor of the estate during the estate planning process. When creating a will, the person can indicate the party he or she feels should take on the role. In the best cases, the candidate will have discussed and accepted the position beforehand.
Generally, the executor has the responsibility of ensuring that the decedent's wishes are followed, especially when it comes to distributing bequeathed assets. Additionally, the executor will have to handle any open financial issues that the estate still has, including paying creditors and addressing applicable taxes.
More specifically, you will have many tasks to handle as executor in order to meet the general responsibilities. Some of those duties include the following:
- Gathering and protecting estate assets
- Determining whether to put the estate through probate proceedings
- Beginning the probate process, if necessary
- Contacting beneficiaries and other parties named in the will
- Paying off creditors
- Canceling credit cards
- Notifying the bank and other applicable entities of the death
- Paying decedent's final income taxes
This list represents just a few of the acts you will likely need to carry out as executor. More unique tasks may come about depending on the specific nature of your loved one's estate.
Carrying out tasks
Because the role of executor can prove overwhelming, you may want to find out more information about probate and estate administration. If you feel that you need assistance during this potentially complicated proceeding, you may want to contact a Pennsylvania attorney to gain reliable information and help during this time.