Being selected as the executor of a will is an honor and a significant responsibility. The final wishes and affairs of the testator are in your hands. The process of executing a person’s will is challenging as a loved one because you need to deal with the loss and the legal process. Thankfully, there is a straightforward roadmap to executing a person’s will, but there is no guarantee of a timeline.
- Review the Document and Create an Inventory
Before you can move forward with the organization and distribution of assets, you will need to find the last will and testament of the decedent. While most testators will tell their executors where they can find the will, some do not, which means you will need to search the decedent’s home.
Once you have the will, review the document, making sure you focus on any amendments. Make a final inventory of the estate and contact any beneficiaries, letting them know of their inheritance.
- File Forms With the Local Probate Court
As the executor of the will, you will need to file new forms with the probate court. The forms will need to include the official will and the inventory of the estate. While the timeline for sending in these documents varies by jurisdiction, most areas expect a filing between 10 and 30 days of the decedent’s passing and the finding of the will.
- Resolve the Estate
To resolve the estate, you will need to manage the testator’s financial obligations and debts. Therefore, you will need to open an estate bank account. The account will allow you to keep an accurate record of all transactions made during the resolution of the estate.
- Distribute Assets
Once you settle the estate, you can then start the distribution of assets to beneficiaries. Obviously, some portions of the inheritance may be affected while taking care of debts, but the remaining assets belong to the heirs as laid out in the testator’s will. In some states, an executor can receive up to five percent of the remaining assets as a fee.
- File Remaining Taxes
After the distribution of assets to the beneficiaries, you will need to file the remaining income taxes for the decedent. Seek help if you need it from a qualified accountant.
- Close the Estate and File Affidavit
When you complete your duties, complete the necessary bookkeeping, and send a copy to the beneficiaries. Once that is complete, file an affidavit with the court to close the estate.