There are certain tasks that an Executor or Estate Administrator must do, and there are certain tasks that a lawyer will typically do.
These principle tasks are as follows:
Executor and Estate Administrator’s Duties:
1. Locate the Will.
2. Secure legal opinion from lawyer on the validity of the Will and meaning of the Will
3. Obtain the names, addresses and contact information for the Beneficiaries named in the Will.
4. Locate the deceased’s assets and prepare an inventory.
5. With the assistance of the lawyer, apply for Probate or Estate Administration.
6. Determine whether an Administration Bond is necessary.
7. Insure the assets are safe and will not be damaged or lose their value. Make sure insurance is in place to protect assets.
8. Pay the deceased’s debts, pay the utilities, cancel the telephone, newspaper, re-direct the mail.
9. Prepare and maintain a record of all financial transactions respecting the estate.
10. Prepare Tax returns for the estate (with the help of an accountant) and secure a Clearance Certificate.
11. With the assistance of the lawyer, prepare an Accounting for the Beneficiaries
12. Distribute the Estate Assets to the Beneficiaries
1. Review the Will and determine its validity and meaning
2. Determine whether it is possible to wind-up the Estate without applying for Probate.
3. Advise the Executor regarding personal liability and how to protect themselves against a Court action.
4. Determine whether it is necessary to apply for Probate or Estate Administration
5. Prepare all Court documents to apply for Probate or Letters of Administration.
6. Advertise for creditors
7. Prepare documents for transfer of land and investments to the Executor.
8. Prepare an Accounting for the Beneficiaries.
9. Prepare Beneficiary Releases.
10. Facilitate interim disbursement of estate assets.
11. Represent the Executor in Court, if necessary, for judicial interpretation of the Will.