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Handling financial affairs as an estate’s executor

On Behalf of | Jan 8, 2024 | Probate

Being named an estate’s executor comes with different responsibilities, and one of them is handling the financial affairs of the testator (the person who made the will). You will deal with bills, debts, mortgages and so on, which can be complicated. But a few tips can make your work more manageable.

Here are two of them:

Get many copies of the death certificate 

Almost every party you deal with during probate will require a copy of the death certificate. Firstly, you will supply creditors with copies of the death certificate to resolve unpaid debts. 

You will also send copies to relevant government agencies to halt further payments/benefits, including the Social Security Administration (SSA if the testator was receiving Social Security benefits, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) if the testator was a veteran, the Defense Finance and Accounting Service (DFAS) if the testator was a military retiree and so on.

Additionally, you will send a copy of the death certificate to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) since you need to file applicable tax returns on behalf of the estate.

Further, you will provide a copy of the death certificate to banks, brokerages and other financial institutions to access the testator’s assets. 

You should also send a copy of the death certificate to service providers to cancel services and social media platforms if you want to close or manage the testator’s social media accounts.

Therefore, get as many copies as possible for a smooth process.

Pay bills sooner

List down all bills and pay them sooner. These include funeral expenses, mortgages, loans, utilities, attorney fees, phone bills and so on. Ensure you follow all payments closely to avoid costly mistakes. 

Financial duties are a big part of an executor’s job. Handling them competently can make life easier.