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Executors: An honorable, but difficult, job

One of the reasons that estate administration is so difficult for people is because it is not very common and requires planning years in advance. That planning may or may not involve the person who will eventually take over the estate. No one likes to bring up death, but not doing so actually makes an executor's job harder.

After a person dies, the executor must make sure the will is carried out and that the estate is taken care of. That may mean paying bills, resolving debts or doling out property to beneficiaries. In fact, executors are entrusted with the responsibility to make sure a person's wishes are met, even after death. It is important that the executor will act in good faith and carry out the decedent's wishes in good time.

What can't an executor do?

An executor has no right to proceeds from the sale of property from the estate. Executors are entitled to fees for compensation, but they are not entitled to proceeds as a way of protecting the property within the estate.

What do executors do when a person dies?

The executor can do many things. Some of the things executors do include finding the decedent's assets, deciding if probate is necessary, making sure the will is filed appropriately, creating a bank account for the estate, paying off debts and creditors and distributing the property within the estate. There are other jobs that the executor does as well, which they should speak to an attorney about before they take on the role. If you will take on this position, it's a good idea to learn about your legal obligations up front.

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