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The duties of an executor

When a person passes away, it is the job of the executor to deal with all aspects of the deceased person's estate. The executor is usually named in the deceased person's will. However, if no will exists or if no executor is named, it will be the job of the probate court to appoint an executor.

Executors have a legal responsibility to abide by the directions given in the will and other estate plan documents and to take care of all of the deceased person's financial obligations. The following is an overview of the various types of duties that an executor has.

Following the instructions of the will

The executor must distribute assets according to what is instructed in the deceased person's will. This can include addressing any contradictions made in the will and going through the process of clarifying ambiguities.

Maintaining property

The deceased person's property will need to be maintained so that its value does not decline before it can be sold. If property, including homes and cars, is not properly maintained, beneficiaries may not inherit the full amount that they are entitled to.

Paying bills and taxes

The executor has to go through the sometimes complex process of identifying all debts that the deceased person had when they passed away and settling them using the assets held within the estate. These debts could include loans, credit card balances and utility bills.

If you have been named the executor of an estate, you must ensure that you have a full understanding of the extent of your legal obligations. An experienced attorney can provide necessary guidance.

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