Duty of Executor



Published
It is our recommendation that Executors undertake the following measures:

1. Conduct a thorough search of the decedent's personal papers and effects for any evidence, which might point you in the direction of a potential creditor;
2. Carefully examine the decedent's checkbook and check register for recurring payments, as these may indicate an existing debt; and assets
3. Contact the issuer of each credit card that the decedent had in his/her possession at the time of his/ her death; and cancel card
4. Contact all parties who provided medical care, treatment, or assistance to the decedent prior to his/her death; and pay undisputed bills after submitted to insurance company


Tax ID number EIN An employer identification number ("EIN") should be obtained for the estate; this number must be included on all returns and other tax documents having to do with the estate. The executor should also file a written notice with the IRS online that he/she is serving as the fiduciary of the estate. This gives the executor the authority to deal with the IRS on the estate's behalf.

Set up an Estate Account with a Bank and Pay the Debts. The claims of the estate's creditors must be paid. Sometimes a claim must be litigated to determine if it is valid. Any estate administration expenses, such as attorneys', accountants' and appraisers' fees, must also be paid.

It is our recommendation that Executors undertake the following measures:
1. Conduct a thorough search of the decedent's personal papers and effects for any evidence, which might point you in the direction of a potential creditor;
2. Carefully examine the decedent's checkbook and check register for recurring payments, as these may indicate an existing debt; and assets
3. Contact the issuer of each credit card that the decedent had in his/her possession at the time of his/ her death; and cancel card
4. Contact all parties who provided medical care, treatment, or assistance to the decedent prior to his/her death; and pay undisputed bills after submitted to insurance company

Other upcoming duties/ Executor to Do

Notice of Probate to Beneficiaries (Attorney will handle)
If charity, notice to Atty General

File notice of Probate with Surrogate (Attorney will handle)

Apply to Federal Tax ID if there will be several beneficiaries- Either Executor or Attorney can handle

Set up Estate Account at bank (pay all bills from estate account)

Type up list of all assets and all liabilities
Email list to beneficiaries if applicable

Pay Bills

List real estate for sale and have attorney prepare, Deed, Affidavit of title and other document

-If mortgage, contact mortgage company for payoff

Prepare Inheritance Tax Return and obtain Tax Waivers (Attorney will handle)

Sell applicable assets
File first Federal and State Income Tax Return [CPA- ex Marc Kane]

If house, select realtor to sell house “as is”

File NJ Tax waivers on real property with County Clerk (Attorney will handle)

Prepare Informal Accounting after assets sold

Prepare Release and Refunding Bond for all beneficiaries to sign (Attorney will handle)

Obtain Child Support Judgment clearance (Attorney will handle if needed)

File Release and Refunding Bond with Surrogate after all beneficiaries sign.

Let's review the major duties involved, which we've set out below.

In General. The executor's job is to (1) administer the estate--i.e., collect and manage assets, file tax returns and pay taxes and debts--and (2) distribute any assets or make any distributions of bequests, whether personal or charitable in nature, as the deceased directed (under the provisions of the Will). Let's take a look at some of the specific steps involved and what these responsibilities can mean. Chronological order of the various duties may vary.

Probate. The executor must "probate" the Will. Probate is a process by which a Will is admitted. This means that the Will is given legal effect by the court. The court's decision that the Will was validly executed under state law gives the executor the power to perform his or her duties under the provisions of the Will.

Tax ID number EIN An employer identification number ("EIN") should be obtained for the estate; this number must be included on all returns and other tax documents having to do with the estate. The executor should also file a written notice with the IRS online that he/she is serving as the fiduciary of the estate. This gives the executor the authority to deal with the IRS on the estate's behalf.

Set up an Estate Account with a Bank and Pay the Debts. The claims of the estate's creditors must be paid. Sometimes a claim must be litigated to determine if it is valid. Any estate administration expenses, such as attorneys', accountants' and appraisers' fees, must also be paid.
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