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What is involved in executing an estate?

| Jan 14, 2021 | Executors & Fiduciaries |

One of the most important things to consider when creating an estate plan is who to name as your estate executor. It is a big responsibility with potentially minimal reward. You could choose a family member or friend. Alternatively, you could opt for someone who does it in a professional capacity.

Some of the executor’s responsibilities

To make the correct choice of executor, you need to understand what the role involves. Here are the main jobs:

  • Paying for the funeral: This is the first task. While the executor does not need to organize the funeral, they are the person empowered to pay for it from your estate.
  • Tracking down all the assets: The executor needs to ensure they have a complete inventory of all the assets. If you do not leave clear instructions on what you own and how to access it, this could take considerable time.
  • Notifying people: The executor must inform anyone named as a beneficiary that you have died.
  • Settling debts: If you owe money to anyone, they can claim against your estate. Smart estate planning, such as the use of trusts, can protect your assets from creditors.
  • Settling taxes: The executor has to get your estate valued and pay any relevant taxes.
  • Distributing the estate: Once the executor has paid the creditors and taxes, they can finally distribute your estate to your beneficiaries.

As you can see from the above list, there is a lot involved in being an executor. You can make it more straightforward for them by keeping your estate plan updated and providing as much information as possible.

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