3 Necessary Steps To Settle An Estate

9 December 2015
 Categories: Law, Blog


The role of the executor of an estate is a bit more complex than some would believe. The executor has many responsibilities that he or she is legally required to complete. If you were chosen as the executor of an estate, here are some duties that you must complete to settle the estate.

Take Care of the Final Arrangements

Although the family most likely will plan the funeral and burial for the deceased, it is your responsibility to ensure that the related expenses are paid. The expenses are paid for through the estate.

To obtain the funds from financial sources, such as life insurance and bank accounts, you need copies of the death certificate. You also need a copy of the certificate to file the deceased's income taxes. Make note of how many copies you need and request them from the funeral director. You should consider ordering additional copies just in case more are needed.

File a Petition with the Probate Court

It is important that you are officially recognized as the executor of the estate. To accomplish this, you need to file a petition with the probate court. You can obtain the necessary forms to complete from the court clerk's office. You will need to file a copy of the deceased's will with the petition.

You also need to provide a copy of the death certificate with the court. There is a filing fee that must be paid with the forms. The filing fee is also paid out of the estate.

Notify Creditors and Other Agencies

It is your responsibility to notify all of the deceased's creditors that he or she is deceased. A death notice needs to also be placed in the local newspaper. Check with the court clerk's office to determine if notification is required in other newspapers.

If the deceased was receiving any government benefits, such as Social Security retirement funds, the agencies need to be notified. Benefits that are distributed after death have to be paid back. By notifying the agencies as soon as possible, you can avoid the need to reimburse those agencies.

There are many other tasks that you must complete to settle the estate of the deceased. Consult with a probate attorney, such as David R Webb Attorney, to ensure that you are on the right path. The attorney can also help with completing documentation, places notices, and distributing the assets of the estate when it is time to do so.