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The duties of those named executor of their parent's will

Pennsylvania residents who have been appointed to execute their parent's will have a large responsibility of ensuring their parent's last wishes are fulfilled. Executors should take time to review the will with their parent, if possible, to make sure their expectations are clear and that important matters are addressed. This step could help avoid family contentions and hurt feelings.

In addition, executors should locate the original will as well as any other important documents, including bank account information, insurance policies, Social Security documents, military records, deeds, safe deposit boxes, credit cards and any other financial records. These documents should then be stored in a safe place.

It is also the executor's responsibility to make about 10 copies of the Death Certificate for insurance companies, banks, credit providers and other companies and individuals. The executor is then required to file the will with probate court, even if probate is not required, and send the parent's death certificate to the Social Security Administration and any other government agencies as well as creditors and banks. At this point, many executors open a bank account in the name of the estate in order to receive funds or pay bills, debts and estate taxes. Before the assets can be disbursed and distributed, executors are obligated to take inventory and maintain their parent's property as well as file the final tax returns and pay the state death tax before.

The list of an executor's duties is quite long and complex, and an executor could be held responsible for losses suffered by the estate if he or she misses a court-imposed deadline, mismanages the decedent's funds or makes a small oversight. Therefore, people appointed as executor to a will could benefit by seeking the advice and direction of an experienced estate planning attorney. Source: Forbes, "You've Been Named An Executor Of A Parent's Will. Now What?", January 24, 2017

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