Often times, people agree to certain responsibilities without understanding the burden that comes along with it. Becoming an executor of someone’s estate is often one of those things-honored that someone, a family member, a friend, considers you so responsible and trustworthy, you may end up agreeing without clearly understanding what your responsibilities will be. However, there is a lot of work involved in becoming an executor and it is important to know that tasks need to be completed, as failure to do so may leave you vulnerable to legal risk.
The first thing an executor should do is talk to the will-maker and discuss their finances with them. Understand what the different accounts are, what their wishes are and help them consolidate their accounts so it can be easier to manage in the long run. In addition to this, ask basics such as where the important papers, including the will, is.
The executor may be tasked with becoming the decedent’s estate administrator. In this situation, the estate administrator’s main task is to collect their assets and pay creditors. Once that’s done, the remaining assets must be distributed among the heirs and beneficiaries. This starts off with providing the court with an accounting of the decedent’s assets and debts and may include appraising some of the assets to get a fair market value of it. They also have to fulfill not only the decedent’s tax liabilities but also the estate’s.
Though not an impossible task, it can seem difficult especially while dealing with the aftermath of the death of a loved one’. Most of these tasks involve immediate action, such as filing copies of the will with the probate court and informing various financial institutions of the death of the Pittsburgh resident. Therefore, it may be beneficial to consult with an experienced attorney to understand the role an executor plays in estate administration before accepting the honorable position.