Duties of the Executor
An executor is the person responsible for managing the administration of a deceased individual’s estate. The Will specifies who the executor is. If there is no Will, an administrator is appointed by the Court. An individual is not required to accept the position of executor if he is named in the Will.
Probate administration in Illinois usually takes 14 months. The following are some of the duties of an executor or administrator.
• Locate Documents. The executor locates the original Will and has it recorded with the County Clerk of Court. He also obtains original death certificates for use in adminstering the estate.
• Open Probate. The Court will grant Letters of Office to the executor or administrator.
• Notify Interested Parties. Notification of the death needs to be made to beneficiaries, heirs and known creditors. Publication needs to be made in the newspaper to unknown creditors.
• Manage the Deceased’s Property. The executor needs to prepare a list of the deceased’s assets and liabilities and collect any property in the hands of other individuals. The property must be protected from loss. An appraiser needs to be hired to assess property values.
• Pay Claims of Creditors. Once the creditors are determined, they need to be paid from the decedent’s funds.
• File Tax Returns. Tax forms need to be filed within the required filing deadlines including estate taxes and income taxes.
• Distribute Assets to the Beneficiaries. Once the creditors’ claims are paid, the executor is responsible for making sure the beneficiaries get what they are entitled to.
• Keep Accurate Records. It is important to keep records of payments made and assets received. A final accounting will need to be created.
Consult your estate planning attorney for further information.