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How do executors prepare to work with a will?

Executors of wills can feel awkward when it finally comes to time to fulfill their duties to the holders of estates. Although it is a solemn and somber task to handle the possessions of the deceased, probate courts try to lighten the burden.

  • How can an executor get the legal right to administer an estate?

The will of the deceased person must be filed and the executor of the estate must file a petition to administer the will. A probate court may hold a hearing on this petition so family members or other interested parties can learn about the process and pose questions if they have any.

  • What does an executor need to do to prepare an estate?

One requirement for all estates is an estate tax return. This document helps ensure that the properties and assets in an estate are "free and clear" of liabilities and debts so they can be conveyed to the intended beneficiary. This return must be filed within six months of the death of the estate holder.

  • How does an executor manage the properties and assets entrusted to him or her?

All properties, assets and income related to an estate must be held separately until the legal conveyance to a beneficiary. Some complications, such as the conveyance of firearms or sensitive financial instruments, may present themselves. Guidance is often available from probate courts.

  • Do people need legal representation in a probate court?

A lawyer is often recommended for complicated probate hearings. Legal representation can give parties to probate proceedings the best chance of their preferred outcome.

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