Legal Questions? / Legal Answers!
Executor Duties Explained
"If your the Executor of a will chances are you were picked because you could handle the final requests of the deceased.They needed someone who loved them, who was strong enough to help the family, and who would follow all their last requests. I wonder if when they asked you to take on this important position for them if they knew... there is not only a lot of work to do, but a cost involved as well. If the arrangements have not already been made and paid for, that will have to be addressed.
The Obituary write ups usually cost per word. If the person was in subsidized housing emptying the apt within 30 days becomes your responsibility. You can pay rent for 30 days to buy you sometime, but it will have to be the full amount. You'll get no help from the State or Federal Govt Programs. My advice would be, get that family help as soon as possible"
When you file a death in Probate Court, it will cost you a percentage of the total amount of the whole estate you now have control over. That is important because if a home is involved.. the value goes up. If they had a home but no money, that bill becomes your responsibility. I had a friend who's brother had a home and they wanted to value it at $180.000. This would have cost him out of pocket, close to $400.00 just to file the will in Probate. However, the bank was the one who really owned it. It helped to be able to show that, because the probate cost amount went way down.
List OF Maine Probate Filing Fees ( Costs Per $10,000 )
Some More Very Important Information To Know
If you have been asked to be the Executor of someone's will there is a list of things I would suggest you get them to put on paper and put with the will. By having these items ready, you will be able to get things accomplished quicker and with less interference. Without them, you will have to ask for the information you need. You will be asked by everyone why you have control of the accounts. You'll say your the Executor of the will and you'll be asked to show proof. I know this may not seem like a big deal and I know you can show proof easily, but you have no idea what the person owes, or what they might have taken out monthly (netflicks) from their account. But I have a better example below.....
"So, same friend who told Probate Court the bank owned his brother's house. The bank owned it because it had no equity. It had no equity because as he got sicker, he had to take out a loan from the bank to have his bathroom remodeled to accommodate his wheelchair. He died before he paid off the loan. When my friend proved to the bank that he was the executor, so he could get the money out of his brother's account to bury his brother, the bank took all the money in the account! Why? To cover as much as their loan for that bathroom remodel as possible. Had he been able to access the account first and take the money, without first telling the bank....the bank loan would have just become a creditor that wasn't going to get paid. He went to probate court with no money. His poor brother was placed on hold for two weeks because he had no money to do anything with the body. He still "owned" the house as Executor and had to maintain all payments to the bank, and pay all the incoming bills. His brother's passing and the Executor status he asked him to do, personally cost him hundreds of dollars. This is why I suggest you use their debt card and password to keep control of their assets in the bank or C.U. they have accounts in. There is NO law saying you must tell the Bank or C.U. that the person has passed and your now in charge of the money. Make sure you check the deceased's bills for any loans that may have a balance due from the same Bank or C.U. they keep their money in. ...BTW you might think my friend had a right to bring a lawsuit against the Bank and you might be right. But that takes time and between dealing with the loss of his brother and the loss of the money to help take care of him, he just gave up and paid for it all."
Some Credit Unions and Banks give out free life insurance polices on their members. You should check with the deceased credit union or bank to see if there might be one. I personally have been offered a free $1.000.00 policy from my Credit Union. Doesn't hurt to ask.
You may want to leave your pin number to your debt card somewhere inside the will for the Executor to access. Just the 4 numbers written without an explanation as to what the numbers pertain to is all you should do. You and the Executor already know why is is there. You can use all the money left in the checking accounts and saving accounts to help you pay all costs relating to the deceased. You should be keeping an account of all debts, money spent and balance of all money left. Check the credit cards and stop all automatic withdrawal payments that may be still activated. You should also get control of their cell phone. If it is willed to a relative, it should only be given to them once the phone plan has been stopped. Remember, the amount for the cellphone bill may be withdrawn automatically. Stop all cellphone payments.
Once you get the money under control it will be a bit easier to move forward. Having a list to go by might help. I have made up a list and although it may not cover every avenue, it should give you a starting place.
Executor Duties List - A Place To Start
The first thing you may need to do after arrangements have been made to get the body prepared is to prepare the Obituary. Obituary write ups usually will cost you per word. The Executor in charge of the will and is usually the one who has the responsibility of writing it, as well as paying for it.
There are some basic duties that an executor is required to perform. But, the full extent of an executor's duties depends entirely on the nature of the estate being probated. The duties of an executor officially begin with the application for probate of the estate. The Executor files a copy of the will with the Probate Court. As Executor, you will need to obtain copies of the Death Certificate to be seen or sent to those creditors that ask for one.
One of the primary duties of an executor or trustee is to protect the deceased assets from loss. The first step in doing that is to create an inventory of all of the deceased assets.That includes money, personal property, and real estate. The next step is creating a list of financial or legal liabilities and valid creditors. All valid creditors must be notified and then paid before the remaining estate can be distributed to heirs. Taxes must also be paid, if applicable.
The Final Steps In Administering An Estate
In the case of a probate proceeding, all steps are done under the supervision and with the approval of the judge in charge of the probate. You cannot act on your own. After the creditors and taxes have been paid, the remaining assets can then be distributed to heirs and beneficiaries. In some cases, it may be necessary to sell property or create trusts, if required by the provisions of the will or some other estate planning documents. It is important to remember that the executor will be expected to provide a final accounting of every transaction related to the estate. Therefore, it is crucial that you keep accurate records of those transactions as you go. Once the accounting is filed and approved by the court, the estate can be closed.he final
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My Final Thought...
"Their are many differences between an Executor
and a Beneficiary. The Executor is in charge
of all aspects of the will. A beneficiary
receives money or other benefits from a benefactor.
For example, the beneficiary of a life insurance
policy is the person who receives the payment
of the amount of insurance after the death
of the insured. Being a Beneficiary to a
life insurance policy or other forms of Benificery
benefits, means you get your Benificery money
when you show a death certificate. The Beneficiary
of a Will waits until the Executor is ready
to divide the property or monies left, to
the relatives in the will. REMEMBER: You
should review life insurance polices at work
or any other "benefits" you have
a Beneficiary on, to ensure you have who
you want as the Beneficiary to your money.
If you been working for years and signed
it over to your ex wife years ago and never
changed it...she gets it!"