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Executing a will: Get the right support

You were surprised when you were informed that you were the executor of your mother's estate. You have siblings, so you thought you'd share the responsibility. Nevertheless, you're now the one handling the estate, and you need to make sure it's done correctly. You know you need to execute the will. You know that there are many steps that you may not be clear on.

Many executors choose to work with an attorney, because handling an estate is a complex process. Here is what you should know.

What does it mean to execute a will?

If you are an executor and need to execute a will, it means that you will need to file the will with the state after your loved one passes. You also need to make funeral arrangements and register your loved one's death. Then, you will need to take steps to settle debts belonging to the estate. There may be taxes to pay as well. Once the debts belonging to the estate are settled and taxes are paid, a judge may give approval to distribute the remaining assets in accordance with the will.

As an executor, do you stand to benefit from taking care of the estate?

Usually, executors do the job without payment. They are, however, entitled to payment. Executors are normally close family members, so many don't seek out payment, but if you do want to seek payment, the payment you can receive will be set by state law.

Our website has more information on will execution and what you can do to make handling the estate easier as a first-time executor.

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