A will commonly names an executor of the estate. If not, then the probate court may appoint one. Regardless of how someone becomes an executor in Maryland, the duty remains the same. The executor serves as an administrator for the deceased person who wrote the will. The executor then has numerous duties to perform. Not everyone named as an executor may know what the job entails, so taking steps to learn the primary duties may prove valuable.
Immediate steps to take
Distributing assets left to beneficiaries is not the only duty an executor handles. Among the very first steps the executor performs is procuring the will. The will needs to go to the probate court to open the estate. The executor must also procure documentation to prove that he or she serves in an official capacity and may act on the estate’s behalf.
The executor would need copies of the decedent’s death certificate to perform several actions. It becomes necessary to report the passing of the decedent to various entities. These entities include utility services, bank accounts, credit cards and more.
Paying debts and distributing assets
The estate must pay off the debts left by the estate. The executor may use assets to pay taxes, loans, liens and any other obligations the decedent had. Liquidating property might become necessary. Significant research may be essential to determine all the debts, assets, obligations and property that the deceased possessed.
Distributing assets to heirs is another essential step, and there are more. The probate court requires reports, and there may be tax filing requirements. Keeping track of all expenses associated with performing these duties might be needed as well.
Hiring an attorney to assist with the many steps of estate administration may be vital to probating the estate properly. An attorney might help with moving the process forward without delays.