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What are the duties of the executor of an estate?

Being appointed the executor of a loved one's estate is an honor. However, it can also cause confusion, especially if one does not have any experience in estate administration in Pennsylvania. It can be intimidating, to say the least. Essentially, though, the executor of a will has the duty of ensuring that the deceased's debts are paid and that the remainder of the deceased's estate is passed on per the deceased's will. This post will provide a brief overview of these duties.

First, an executor will have to locate all the estate's assets and keep them safe. The executer will have to determine if the deceased's will should be probated, and if so, the executor will have to ensure the deceased's will is filed in the right court. The executor will have to locate and contact the heirs listed in the will. The executor has to wind up the deceased's affairs (for example, by cancelling credit cards).

An executor also has to establish a bank account for the estate, which is used to make any necessary recurring payments. The executor is also responsible for paying the debts of the deceased as well as filing income taxes. Finally, the executor will ensure the deceased's assets are distributed per the terms of the deceased's will.

As this shows, executors have many duties that they are bound to competently fulfill. This can be complex, however, and many choose not to handle these matters alone. Since this post cannot serve as legal advice, those who need specific information about their role as an executor are encouraged to seek professional guidance.

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