Duties of an Executor

An executor is the person named by the maker of a Will to carry out the directions of the Will. The executor ensures that all debts and taxes have been paid, then distributes remaining assets to those who are entitled to them by the Will.

Specific duties of a Will executor typically include:

1. Deciding whether probate court proceedings are needed.

Most states allow a certain amount of property to pass from the deceased to an inheritor free of probate. Many states also have simplified proceedings for the most common types of property transfers (e.g. to a surviving spouse). See the What is Probate section for more information about probate.

2. Filing the Will in probate court.

This step is necessary even if no probate proceeding is necessary, and should typically be completed within 30 days of the death.

3. Setting up an estate bank account.

An estate bank account will hold paychecks, dividends, and other income, and be used to pay continuing expenses such as the mortgage or other bills of the deceased.

4. Paying outstanding debts and taxes.

Which also might include filing the final income tax return.

5. Determining who will inherit property and overseeing distribution.

The executor will typically use the Will of the deceased (if available) or state law to determine property distribution.

6. Managing assets until they can be distributed to beneficiaries.

7. Handling other details.

Terminating credit cards, notifying relevant agencies of the death, and assisting the attorney for the estate.

Last Will and Testament

Distribute your property, name guardians, and appoint an executor.


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Living Will

Let others know your health care decisions.


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Durable Power of Attorney

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General Power of Attorney

A Power of Attorney is frequently used in the event of a Principal's illness or disability or where the Principal cannot be present to sign necessary legal documents.


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Pet Guardian Trust

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Assign a Digital Agent

Share access to your estate documents with people you trust to help carry out your wishes.


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Important Contacts - Your Will

Add contact details for your Executors and Guardians (addresses, emails, phone, and notes.)


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Funeral Planning Checklist

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