Being An Executor Is More Than Being A Property Distributor: Numerous Duties You Must Perform

So, your parents asked you to be executor of their will. Without a second thought, you agreed. Now that they have passed away, you suddenly realize that you must begin the executor task. You are not only going to appear in court with the probate lawyer, but you are going to act as an "employee of the estate". Why? Because you will have to complete all of the following "work" tasks to effectively execute your parents' will. 

Appear in Court with the Probate Lawyer and Witnesses 

As executor, your major duties will involve appearing in court with a probate lawyer to "prove" the will. All witnesses who signed the will and who were present when your parents had the will notarized must be present as well. Both you and the witnesses will attest before the judge that the will is true. When that is complete, the probate lawyer will need to be paid for services rendered, unless he/she already received money in advance as a retainer and no money is due. Then you can begin the rest of your executor duties.

Apply for an EIN for Your Parents' Estate

An EIN is an "Employee Identification Number." It is the number assigned to anyone you hire to work for you. In your case, your deceased parents appointed you executor, thereby legally "hiring" you to execute their will. The problem is, you cannot begin your executor duties until you have that EIN.

The good news is that you can walk into any tax agent office and let them know that you are named executor and that you need an EIN for estate affairs. Tax representatives will not only help you apply for the correct type of EIN, but they will also assist you with filing income tax documents for your deceased parent(s). You will have to file your parents' final state and federal income tax documents anyway as executor.

Open an Estate Account and Begin Liquidation

All financial assets that your parents had will need to be liquidated and placed into a checking account. Any debts your parents had left at the ends of their lives will need to be paid out of this account before heirs are paid. Physical property of value is only liquidated when debts exceed the financial assets your parents had left. When all debts are paid, then you, as the executor, can distribute property, items of value, and money according to how your parents willed them.

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