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The duties of an executor

New York residents who have been chosen as executors under someone's will have a number of important duties as well as challenges ahead. One of the difficulties of being an executor is that the person may face pressure from heirs to distribute assets as soon as possible. However, the executor should be wary of doing so before all debts are paid. Otherwise, the executor may end up without enough to cover those debts and have to pay out of pocket.

This is only one of the potential pitfalls that may befall an executor. An executor has a number of duties including finding all the assets and determining their value, seeing a will through probate and filing tax returns. Other responsibilities may be dealing with the testator's online accounts, taking care of the cellphone bill and turning off utilities. There may also be ongoing business ventures that have to be handled correctly, such as managing rental property that the testator owned.

An executor may have to deal with grieving family members or people trying to take advantage of the decedent's estate. Executors may also take on a significant amount of liability themselves. Because being an executor can be so stressful and complex, it is important that a person should only agree to be an executor when they fully understand and are willing to undertake the duties.

An attorney who has experience in probate law and other estate administration matters can often provide assistance to an executor with many of these duties. Just because people have been chosen as executors does not mean that they are financial or legal experts, and the advice of legal counsel is often necessary and appropriate.

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