When a person agrees to act as the executor of a loved one's estate, he or she agrees to take on a great deal of responsibilities. If you hold this position and now face the tasks associated with settling your recently deceased loved one's estate, you may have many questions about what you will face during this process.
Feeling uncertain about moving forward with any legal process is understandable. It can be nerve-wracking to have so much on your plate, especially after losing a loved one. By gaining more information on what you may face as the executor of the estate, you may feel more confident moving forward.
Tasks and responsibilities
Knowing where to start with handling final affairs can be difficult. Therefore, one of your first steps may be to enlist professional help. A probate attorney could guide you through the legal process necessary for properly closing the estate. Some other actions you will likely need to complete include the following:
- Collecting and managing the estate assets
- Filing the decedent's will with the court, if applicable
- Informing beneficiaries and other necessary parties of their interest in the estate
- Inventorying all tangible and intangible assets
- Filing for Social Security and other applicable benefits
- Making a list of expenses and creditor claims against the estate
- Collecting unpaid insurance, salary and benefits
- Creating a schedule for closing the estate
- Filing final tax returns and paying any taxes owed by the estate
- Closing creditor claims against the estate
- Distributing the remaining assets to the proper beneficiaries
This is not an exhaustive list of the many tasks that you could have to handle as the executor. In fact, your situation could become more complicated if a party chooses to contest the will or bring about another claim that leads to probate litigation.
Because of the importance of properly settling an estate, any mistakes could cause major issues. As a result, it is wise to ensure that you do not take any actions without first having the right information on when and how to complete certain steps.
Again, working with a Texas probate attorney could allow you to gain professional assistance and allow you to have a knowledgable party to answer any questions you may have. Knowing that you do not have to navigate this difficult process on your own may make you feel more at ease.