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- Executor’s Duties
Keep in mind when choosing an executor that he or she will have the following responsibilities:
- to execute all documents and attend any hearings necessary to probate the estate (usually with the assistance of a probate attorney);
- to collect and gather together all of the assets of the estate and, if necessary, to sell some or all of the assets;
- to pay all debts, taxes, and funeral expenses;
- to distribute the remaining assets to the beneficiaries according to the terms of the will; and
- to file any tax return and/or other documents required on behalf of the estate (often with the assistance of a CPA).
- How to Choose your Executor
- You should always name one or more successor executors in case your original choice cannot serve or is not willing to serve.
- Typically married couples name each other as the first choice for executor.
- Your second, third, and fourth choices could be one of your parents or siblings, an adult child, or even a close personal friend.
- It is best to have at least one successor executor who is approximately your age or younger so that there is a good chance he or she will survive you.
- Although it is usually easier to have an executor who lives in or near the same geographic area where you live, it is not a requirement.
- Many wills provide that executors are entitled to compensation from the estate for their efforts, plus reimbursement of any expenses, including the fees of any professional hired to assist them.