An Ohio resident who is creating an estate plan might wonder what kind of tasks the executor will have. Duties of an executor include locating assets, arranging to pay estate taxes and distributing property to beneficiaries. To make the job easier, an estate owner may want to work with the executor to ensure that all paperwork is in place.

Being an executor can mean having significant responsibilities. Executors should know where important documents are located. This includes not just the will and other legal documents but also paperwork such as income tax returns, insurance records, birth certificates, marriage certificates and more. If documents are digitized, executors need to know how to get access to them. They may also need contact information for various people associated with the estate, including attorneys and financial planners. If the estate owner is healthy and anticipates living for many more years, there should be an ongoing conversation with the executor about any changes made to the plan.

While an executor has a fiduciary responsibility to manage an estate competently, they can hire professionals, including attorneys, to assist them with estate administration tasks. The will must be entered into probate, and it might be necessary to liquidate accounts and transfer them to the estate’s account. Furthermore, an executor may have to perform these duties while coping with their own grief as well as that of family members.

A person preparing an estate plan might want to talk to an attorney about how to choose the best people for various roles. For example, powers of attorney appoint people to take over medical and financial decision-making if the estate owner becomes incapacitated. If there is a trust, there will need to be one or more trustees. Trust management can include complicated duties, and it may need to be done by a professional.