Understanding the duties of an executor to your relative’s Pennsylvania estate is incredibly important if they’ve appointed you. There’s no shame in not knowing what to expect; the fact is that most people do not know when the time comes because they might only do this once or twice in their lifetime. The following includes some helpful information on the duties of an executor.
Protecting the estate
Contrary to popular belief, wills and estates are two different things. This must be known as your first duty as an executor is to protect the estate and locate the original will. Protecting the estate usually involves canceling credit cards, collecting assets and locking properties, to name a few. This will ensure that the contents of the will are protected and distributed properly when it comes time to do so.
Obtain legal representation
No matter how solid a will is, the fact is that you may still end up encountering challenges from family members. It is important to quickly obtain legal representation as a means of having a buffer between the estate and those seeking to challenge it. In addition to providing protection, an attorney may help you deliver proper estate documents to any family members included in the will.
Here comes the hard part
Once all family members have been informed and you have in your possession the letters testamentary, which allows you access to the rest of the estate, you may now begin to sell off assets, pay creditors and attend to everything the decedent would have been able to do.
Closing the estate
Once the will is taken care of, it is time to conduct a final inventory of all assets. This information should also be passed onto all the beneficiaries as a means of being transparent with the estate. Lastly, you will pay yourself an executor commission as well as provide the courts with the final inventory list of the estate.
As you can see from the information above, the role of an executor can be quite daunting to take on. Thus, it is important to consult with an experienced attorney throughout every step of the process. Doing so may help you avoid common mistakes that tend to prolong the process.