What does an Executor of a will do?

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  • Written By: Autumn Rivers
  • Edited By: Andrew Jones
  • Last Modified Date: 26 January 2020
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An executor of a will is in charge of tying up the loose ends left by the deceased. One of the most important tasks includes reading the will to those who stand to inherit items, and then filing it in court. Notifying various people and companies of the death, such as insurance providers and creditors, is another important task for the executor of a will. Of course, dealing with financial aspects is also crucial, including paying off any bills and taxes that were left unpaid at the time of death. The final duty of the executor of a will is to close the estate through the court, at which time the job is done.

One task that many people associate with the executor is reading the will to those who will be inheriting items from the deceased. Of course, this job is not over after the will has been read, as the executor needs to find the items, and then ensure that they are all distributed to the correct people. The will also needs to be filed in probate court, at which time all beneficiaries and creditors are alerted so that they can challenge the will if they have concerns about its contents. If no will was created, state law will need to be consulted to find out who the heirs are.


Another crucial job for the executor of a will is to make sure that all companies that did business with the deceased are aware of the death. It is important to contact credit card companies, banks, the post office, insurance providers, and any entities that either provided benefits to the deceased or were owed money. Leases, credit cards, and other contracts need to be canceled so that the last bills can be paid, and accounts can be closed.

The proper procedure for dealing with the last bills of the deceased starts with opening a bank account, into which all funds still owed to the deceased will go. This includes paychecks, stock dividends, and financial benefits from either private or government entities. Once there are funds in this account, any remaining bills will need to be paid with the money, such as mortgage payments, utility bills, and any payments owed to creditors before they were notified of the death. The executor of a will is also responsible for filing the last income taxes, as the time period from the start of the year until the day of death is taxed as usual. Once all bills are paid and beneficiaries have received their inherited items, the estate can be closed.


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