What are my first duties as an executor?

Once you’ve decided to act as the executor your duties will include:

  • reviewing the will and ensuring it is the deceased’s last will by completing the appropriate searches
  • attending to the funeral
  • locating all of the deceased’s assets including bank accounts, investments, any real estate they may own, safety deposit boxes, vehicles, pensions, government benefits, etc.
  • ensuring the deceased’s assets are properly insured
  • determining what debts the deceased had outstanding when they died and determining what ongoing payments will need to be made
  • finding names and addresses for the spouse, children, next of kin and any other beneficiaries named in the deceased’s will
  • canceling any credit cards or ongoing subscriptions (cable, gym memberships, monthly charitable donations)
  • applying for death benefits and obtaining death certificates

Being and executor can be quite time-consuming and stressful, complicated by the deceased’s ongoing business obligations to be wound up, assets that are difficult to locate and value, feuding beneficiaries, and complicated tax filings.

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