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Being an executor

Many people living in Colorado will one day be asked to be the executor of an estate. While most people consider this an honor, it is also a huge responsibility. An executor is responsible for the total management of an estate, beginning with finding a will, notifying pertinent individuals, agencies and businesses of the death, and then ensuring that the deceased's wishes are carried out.

Since executors are often not legal professionals and, in many cases, have never served in this role before, the duties may seem overwhelming. In general, however, people may be able to better manage their responsibilities with a bit of planning, as well as knowledge of what is expected of them.

One of the first tasks that will need to be carried out is sending out death notifications to organizations and individuals. This process can be made more straightforward by asking the funeral home to order copies of the death certificate directly. Certified copies of this document will be necessary to close out accounts, shut off utilities and stop Social Security payments.

From there, the executor will need to locate both the will and any documents pertaining to trusts that have been set up by the decedent. From there, assets and debts will need to be documented so that debts can be paid off and distributions made to beneficiaries.

Individuals who are serving as executors may benefit from speaking with an experienced estate administration attorney. Legal counsel can review the case and make recommendations on the appropriate management of the estate's assets in order to avoid any potential conflict with the decedent's heirs.

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