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What an executor should know about his or her role

Texas residents who have been selected to be the executor of an estate must complete several tasks. For instance, it will be necessary to obtain a copy of any existing will and submit it to the proper court. The executor will also need to account for and locate the entirety of the deceased person's estate, and this could mean searching a home for hidden assets.

After business and personal assets have been found, it is the executor's responsibility to safeguard them. It may also be that person's duty to manage any rental properties that the deceased person owned at the time of his or her death. In some cases, assets will also need to be appraised to determine their current value. If claims have been made against the estate, the valid ones will need to be paid while those that are questionable can be defended against in court.

If a matter relating to the estate does go to court, the executor may need the assistance of an attorney in defending the estate. An income tax return for both the deceased person and his or her estate will need to be filed with the proper tax authorities -- federal estate, state death or inheritance tax returns should be filed if necessary. Some of the final steps an executor must take include obtaining tax releases and receipts as required by the court and paying both executor and attorney fees.

Choosing a trustworthy person or entity to be an estate's executor can make it easier for a person's final wishes to be met. Individuals can help their future executors by leaving clear instructions and providing easy access to valid wills or other important documents. An attorney who specializes in estate administration and probate can assist in creating an inventory of important documents and make sure that the executor has the ability to access bank or other accounts as needed.

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