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3 things you must do as an executor

What you have to do as the executor of an estate is unique to the estate you are dealing with and the laws of your state, but there are at least three things that almost every estate executor is going to have to do. To best understand the requirements of administering an estate in your location, you might want to consider speaking with an estate law professional.

One of the things every estate executor must do is locate and appropriately file the will. The requirements for filing do differ by state, but you'll need to find the valid, signed copy of the will for this purpose. If someone asks you to be the executor of his or her estate, make sure you talk with the individual about where the will is going to be.

A second thing you'll have to do is locate and manage the assets of the estate. Assets can range from things such as homes and cars to the minutia of personal property. You'll also have to deal with cash and account-based assets, including bank accounts, credit accounts, investment portfolios and even life insurance. Again, talking with the person who asked you to be executor ahead of time can make this a much easier process. Otherwise, you might be playing a game of financial forensics as you hunt through personal records for this information.

Finally, you will need to handle any tax matters left by the estate. Not every estate owes estate taxes, but you might still have to file a final income tax statement for the person who passed away. Again, working with a professional can help ensure you finalize all details of the estate to save yourself and any heirs stress in the future.

Source: Fox News, "Four Tips for the Executor Of an Estate," accessed Aug. 05, 2016

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