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What are the many responsibilities of a will executor?

When creating a will, it's important to name an executor. While you can choose almost anyone you wish, don't overlook the fact that this person will be staffed with many responsibilities.

As a general rule of thumb, you want to choose someone who is in good health and willing to take on every task that they are faced with. Plus, they should be both honest and reliable.

Here are some of the many responsibilities of a will executor:

-- Obtain a copy of the will, read the will and make sense of all the instructions that are provided in the document.

-- File a petition with the appropriate court while also admitting the will to probate.

-- Collect all the assets outlined in the will, as these will be distributed in the future.

-- Take care of all assets until they are distributed to the proper people.

-- Pay any claims against the estate.

-- Pay any federal or state taxes that may be due

-- File income tax returns for the estate and the deceased.

While this is only a short list of responsibilities, it provides a better idea of what a will executor will be up against. Along with this, he or she may also have to spend some time in court.

If you're in the process of choosing a will executor, make sure you do so with care. This is one of the biggest decisions you will make in regards to your estate plan, so don't hesitate to take your time and receive assistance if you require it along the way.

Source: FindLaw, "Checklist: The Executor's Role," accessed Dec. 29, 2016

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