Typically, an executor must:

  • Find the deceased person’s assets and manage them until they are distributed to inheritors.
  • Decide whether or not probate court proceedings are needed.  Probate FAQ.)
  • Figure out who inherits property.
  • File the will (if any) in the local probate court. Finding and Filing the Will.
  • Handle day-to-day details.
  • Set up an estate bank account.
  • Use estate funds to pay continuing expenses.
  • Pay debts. Notice to Creditor of Death.
  • Pay taxes.
  • Supervise the distribution of the deceased person’s property.   Nolo.com

 

Common pitfalls include …

self-dealing

(buying assets for yourself or  a family member from the estate or trust, whether at market price),  American Bar Assoc

the duty of care,

requires a fiduciary to carefully manage trust or estate assets.

“prudent investor rule,” which requires a fiduciary to use reasonable care, skill, and caution in managing assets. An executor or administrator is held to a “prudent man” standard, which is lower than a “prudent investor.”

Assets must be sold at proper prices and on proper terms.

Duty of Impartiality

A fiduciary must not favor any beneficiary over another.

the fiduciary must treat himself no better than any other beneficiary.  Lindlaw.com

 

 

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