The Role of the Executor of the Estate

As executor of the estate, you are charged with the responsibility of making sure the decedent’s estate is handled in the proper manner under the law.

Typically, the executor hires an attorney to assist him or her in all of the responsibilities. An attorney will know the ins and outs of the system, be able to advise on what to do with various assets, handle any challenges from beneficiaries, and more.

Although not an exhaustive list, the executor generally has the following responsibilities, all of which an attorney can assist with:

· Secure the original will of the decedent if there is one

· Take original will and original death certificate to county Register of Wills office

· Become formally named as executor of the estate at the Register of Wills office

· Inventory the estate

· Open up an estate account

· Pay any debts or remaining bills of the decedent

· Advertise the estate as required by law for any creditor claims

· Liquidate the estate, including any stocks, bonds, mutual funds, property, etc.

· Distribution of assets to heirs, trusts, beneficiaries, etc.

· Hire legal representation for estate in case of will challenge/contest

· File PA Inheritance Tax return, and pay tax

· File Final Income Tax return for decedent

· File Estate Income Tax return

· File Federal Estate Tax return if applicable

Every probate case is different. Therefore, this list will vary accordingly. For more questions, please contact our office today.