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Tips in Simplifying the Job of an Executor of Will

Organization can make your task as an executor of will a lot easier. The following tips will likewise help you make your task a lot less complicated.

1. Get the Death Certificate.

You have to arrange funeral and burial services and settling each cost using the estate. You also have to get some copies of the death certificate because you have to send some copies to offices such as the life insurance, social security, and financial accounts if applicable. You also need another copy when filing the final tax return.

2. Locate the Will of trust.

Know where the Will is stored then obtain it. File a copy for the probate court. See to it that you file the necessary paperwork in the probate court few days after or one month after the death. You can forget about probate court if the deceased had a living trust. Trust assets can be distributed right after the death without obtaining the approval of the court.

3. File letters testamentary.

Check on state laws to know if the estate must still go through probate court. If it’s still required, the court will confirm your legal appointment as the personal representative with letters of testamentary, also referred to as surrogate certificates. These are legal papers verifying your authority to act on behalf of the decedent. Your duties include: filing tax returns, opening or closing bank accounts, dealing with beneficiaries, paying debts and bills, and managing and distributing assets.

4. Locate and protect assets.

Find out if the decedent made a detailed list of his or her assets and where to find them all. Also, find out if there are prepared copies of funeral plans, investment accounts, bank accounts, insurance documents, real properties, and trusts. If all these things are available, your task will surely become a lot easier. However, if the deceased did not prepare a list, the attorney who prepared the Will will in most cases, prepare the listing of all assets.

5. Pay taxes and bills.

You are responsible for settling the debts made by the deceased. But prior to settling any debts, make sure that the assets are able to cover all of them. Figure out the account of the decedent’s incoming money, debts, and monthly bills if he or she did not keep a detailed list on such things. You can start with the checkbook. I will give you a record of deposits and bills. To get clues, go over deeds, tax returns, contracts, and financial statements.

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