A deceased person probably has some unpaid debts. The executor's job is to notify all creditors, giving them a chance to make a claim against the estate. Because not all creditors may be known, the executor also must publish notice in a local newspaper. Creditors have six months to make a claim.
Collect and protect assets
This step can be overwhelming. The court requires an inventory and accounting of all assets in the estate. An attorney can draft these documents for the court, but will need the executor's help in gathering all the information about bank accounts, property, etc. It's important to keep good financial records during the administration of the estate.
The final duty of the executor is to distribute the deceased's assets according the terms in his or her will. A detailed report needs to be filed with the court. Again, an attorney will draft this. Also, any beneficiaries (those receiving any assets), as well as any creditors receiving payment, must sign a receipt.
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If you are named as executor of an estate, you are going to need an attorney to guide you through the process. It can be complicated, and overwhelming. We only recommend attorneys with experience in probate matters.