Distributing an estate per a decedent's instruction is one job for the executor of a will. There are also other duties entrusted to an executor. Before appointing someone or accepting the position, Illinois residents might like to know more about the executor's duties.
The first thing an executor might do is gain a copy of one's will and submit the document to probate court. Typically, the county that has jurisdiction is where the decedent lived at the time of death. However, an executor may instead wish to file documents in the county where the decedent owned property.
Using the assets of a decedent, an executor pays any debts owed by an estate. Possible debts include mortgages, loans and credit card balances. One may use a newspaper in the area to post a Notice to Creditors. This allows creditors to make a claim when a debt is owed.
Executors must also transfer assets to beneficiaries. This might involve sending Notice to Heir letters to those who will receive an inheritance from an estate. However, such actions may not be necessary when the executor and heirs are family members.
In addition to the aforementioned main duties of an executor, there are other odds and ends that may crop up. The executor might need to close credit cards, personal accounts and subscription services. One must also notify the SSA if a decedent collected Social Security payments.
In addition to an executor, trustees may be needed when trusts are used. A trust, which can be used when passing assets to heirs, might make distribution easier. If one has special instructions or complex assets, a trust may be appropriate. When dealing with the estate administration and probate process, one may wish to consult an attorney.