As Executor, it is imperative to keep accurate records as to any expenses that you have paid on behalf of the Estate, either personally or through the funds contained in the Estate checking account. It is also important that you create an inventory list of all personal property (tangible and intangible) and real property, including their values, that belonged to the decedent at the time of death. As the Executor of the Estate, you owe a fiduciary duty not only to the Estate but also to the beneficiaries. This fiduciary duty includes an obligation to the heirs of the Estate to preserve all of the assets of the Estate, pay the debts of the decedent, pay any taxes due and provide an accounting of your actions and payments made. Generally, distribution of estate assets should occur only after the appropriate tax returns have been filed, all taxes paid and all other estate debts have been satisfied. Please note that failure to pay any required taxes or failure to prudently perform your duties as Executor may result in personal liability.
Below are the various tasks that must be performed before the Estate can be closed, and your role as Executor terminates. We would be happy to assist you with these duties.
In certain circumstances, the executor may conclude that the best way to distribute the Estate is to sell the home and divide the proceeds according to the terms of the will. If this is the case, we will be happy to provide legal services in connection with the sale of the home.
If at any time you become unwilling or unable to perform your duties as Executor, please contact me immediately so that we can discuss possible courses of action. Should you have any questions or need any assistance with the below, do not hesitate to contact me.
by Pamela Madas Snyder
Bathgate, Wegener & Wolf