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The typical duties of a will executor

As you create an estate plan, there will come a time when you have to name somebody to be the executor of your will. This is a big decision as this person takes on a variety of responsibilities. From paying taxes and bills to disposing of property, a will executor will take on many tasks until the job is complete.

While not always the case, most people name an immediate family member, such as a child, as the executor of their will.

No two estates are the same. For this reason, no two executors are staffed with the exact same responsibilities. Even so, some of the primary duties of this person include:

-- Making court appearances if necessary.

-- Distributing assets based on the language of the will.

-- Paying all bills for the estate, including any tax debt.

-- Maintaining property, such as a house, until the estate is fully settled.

It is easy to ask somebody to be the executor of your will; however, you don't want to throw this around with no thought of what you are doing. You need to choose somebody who can be trusted to make all the right decisions at the right time.

When it comes time to choose an executor, discuss these responsibilities as well as anything else you hope this person will be able to accomplish. You should never feel the urge to force somebody to be an executor of a will. Instead, they should be willing to take on this task and comfortable with handling anything that comes up along the way.

Source: FindLaw, "Will Executor Duties FAQ," accessed May. 19, 2015

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