Acting as an executor for the first time can be a daunting experience as there are many tasks to complete and serious legal and financial issues hanging in the balance. Being named as an executor means your deceased loved one selected you to be legally in charge of handling their estate and fulfilling their final financial obligations.
Here are three tips for making your job as an executor go as smoothly as possible.
1. Obtain Multiple Copies of the Death Certificate.
As you are making arrangements for the funeral and burial, get numerous copies of the death certificate from the funeral home or funeral director. You may need to provide copies to the Social Security Administration, the IRS, banks, insurance companies and the US Department of Veterans Affairs to notify them of your loved one’s death. The more copies you have, the better.
2. Bring in the Experts
As you go through the process of distributing the estate, you will be faced with a number of financial and legal questions. You should call a lawyer to assist you with these questions, and may want to consider obtaining a tax expert to help you sort through the various issues tax issues that may be involved.
A lawyer will help with filing necessary documents with the probate court, preparing and sending notices and publications, identifying probate assets, and handling claims against the estate. The lawyer will also assist with transferring ownership of property and distribution of assets to heirs.
The tax expert can help you file the deceased’s final tax return, if necessary, and advise you on how to handle any estate or inheritance taxes.
3. Create An Estate Calendar
With the help of your expert advisers, put together a master calendar for all the important dates related to the estate. Include a timeline for legal filings, payment due dates, tax deadlines, etc.
The lawyers at Perry, Bundy, Plyler and Long LLP have over 90 years of combined experience administering estates for North Carolina families. We can help you navigate your responsibilities as an executor. Give us a call at 704-289-2519.