What are your responsibilities as an executor?

| Mar 4, 2021 | Estate Administration |

Agreeing to oversee someone’s estate means a lot of important responsibilities rest on your shoulders. Whoever entrusted you with their life’s savings must have thought highly of your integrity, experience and reliability. 

Understanding your responsibilities can help you to execute things with confidence and accuracy. If possible, have a discussion with the person who named you as an executor to clarify his or her expectations and end-of-life wishes. 

Guarding and distributing assets

Depending on the circumstances surrounding the death of a person, the totality of assets and the intentions of surviving family members, eager attempts at claiming assets may threaten your job. According to Bankrate, one of your primary responsibilities is to guard and protect the assets left in your charge. 

Following the guidelines left for you to reference, your job is to distribute all assets to the appropriate parties. Keep surviving family members informed of the process so they can have reassurance. When you show empathy and communicate regularly with family members, you can earn their trust. 

Finalizing end-of-life tasks

Even with an anticipated death, you may find multiple loose ends to tie up on behalf of the person whose estate you oversee. An unexpected death can complicate your job if you need to locate end-of-life documents that were not organized or filed away yet. Some of your responsibilities may include the following: 

  • Acquiring a death certificate 
  • Closing bank accounts 
  • Paying outstanding debts 
  • Filing taxes  
  • Notifying beneficiaries 

At any point during the process of finalizing end-of-life tasks, you can consult a legal professional for guidance. Managing an estate is a lot of work. Having the advice of an experienced professional may ease your stress and help you avoid costly mistakes.