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What are the main responsibilities of a will executor?

When you create a will, you need to name an executor. While this may not sound like a big decision, it's important to realize that this person is responsible for a variety of tasks.

Here are some of the many things that the executor of a will may have to do:

-- Locate the assets of the deceased person.

-- Decide if going through the probate process is required by law.

-- Locate and contact the people named in the will as beneficiaries.

-- Pay all remaining debts and final expenses.

-- Set up a bank account for the estate, which can be used to pay final expenses.

-- Pay final income taxes.

-- Ensure that all property is distributed to the appropriate people.

-- Satisfy all final obligations required by the probate court.

As you can imagine, each of these points includes a variety of additional tasks. For example, it's not always as simple as it sounds to locate all of the assets of a deceased person. This is particularly true if you don't have much direction as to where you should start.

With all of these responsibilities in mind, it's easy to see why you have to choose a responsible and trustworthy person to act as executor. If you aren't completely confident in your decision, you may never feel comfortable with your estate plan.

If you have yet to name a will executor or if you need to make a change, there is no better time than now to review your situation and do what you feel is best for you and your family.

Source: FindLaw, "What Does an Executor Do?," accessed May 04, 2017

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