Estate executors have the responsibility of distributing all of the decedent’s property according to the terms of the will. Therefore, the executor should work closely with the testator to be certain that both know about every will and change that has been made. The executor needs to know that the will that is available is valid and available.

The first thing to do is to notify the Social Security Administration and all other payers of pension plans of the death.

Property Listed in the Will

All properties listed in the will should be verified as to their existence and value. The beneficiaries should be notified that they are named in the will, and given a list of the properties that they are to receive.

The executor should be given a list of online accounts with user-ids, passwords, and answers to security questions so that online accounts may be accessed and contents removed. If this information is not available, the estate might have to sue to get access to the accounts.

Properties Not Listed in the Will

The executor should be aware of properties that are held jointly with the descendent and the legal rights of the surviving owner. These properties include joint checking accounts, stocks, bonds and other financial instruments. The wording of the contract that up the account is extremely important.

Insurance policies and other financial instruments that name a beneficiary do not need to be probated.

Proceeds of insurance policies on the life of the testator become a part of the estate if he or she is the beneficiary. The executor should know of the existence of those properties.

Income and Liabilities of the Estate

The estate must pay the debts of the descendant, and file a final federal and state tax return. In addition, while waiting for the will to be probated, the estate may earn income. If the income is over $600, the estate must file a federal income tax return. State tax laws have varying requirements.

The value of an estate determines the estate tax liability. Since tax laws are constantly changing, you should consult an estate planner. You can find one in your area by searching LawyerLocator estate planning. The planner can suggest ways of financing the payment of estate taxes.

Conclusions to draw

The executor is a team leader who should organize his team for efficiency by doing the following:

Work with the testator to place all relevant documents and documentation in an accessible place.

Work with the estate planner to arrange for estate taxes and other financial obligations.

Verify property listed in the will.

Devise strategy to distribute all assets and pay off debts.