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Get help if you're appointed as the executor of an estate

When someone you love passes away but has made you their estate's administrator, you're in a special position. It is your job to make sure that the individual's assets are gathered, their business affairs are handled and their debts are paid (if possible). You are responsible for filing a final tax return and for distributing assets as the decedent directed.

As the executor of the estate, you are saddled with all these responsibilities, but it can be scary, frustrating and confusing. That's why it's smart to work with an attorney to help you guarantee that you do everything as you should. That way, there will be little chance of making mistakes that you could later be held liable for. In addition, if you want to turn down the role, you'll need to do so in court.

Is it the executor's responsibility to locate those listed in a will?

If there are beneficiaries or heirs listed, then you need to know who they are, what they need to receive and when they should receive those items. Most executors choose to work with an attorney to make sure that they do have the ability to reach out to these beneficiaries or heirs. If any are difficult to find, you'll want to have evidence that you did try to seek them out.

Our website has more information on becoming the executor of a loved one's estate and what you should do if you are put in charge. You have several responsibilities when placed in that position, so working with an attorney who has experience in this arena is a good idea.

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