Kathryn T. Joseph & Associates, Inc.
216-245-0504

Becoming executor of a parent's will

People in Ohio who have been appointed executors of their parents' estates assume several responsibilities. Those who find out ahead of time that they will be the executors have an advantage because they still have time to communicate with their parents regarding their final wishes. Someone who has been designated as an executor should confirm his or her parent's desires, clarify any uncertainties and find out how much other family members know about the estate plan. He or she should also know where the will and any other important financial documents are located.

Once his or her parent passes away, the executor will need to obtain at least 10 copies of the death certificate and send them to the necessary government agencies, banks and credit card companies. The will also must be filed with probate court, although, in a few circumstances, this process may not be necessary. In other cases, probate could drag on for months or years.

An executor needs to open a bank account in the name of the estate and use it exclusively for paying debts and depositing any incoming funds. All of the deceased's property and assets must be located, and the executor may have to get them appraised and inventoried. All the estate's taxes and debts must be paid off before assets can be distributed to the beneficiaries. When disbursing the estate, executors should get receipts from the beneficiaries that prove that they received their assets.

An attorney may be able to assist an executor with estate administration and probate. Complications may occur during this process if the executors did not have the opportunities to speak with their parents about their estate plans before they passed away or if some aspects of the will are in doubt. Even if an estate plan is clearly detailed, an executor may still have questions concerning taxes, liabilities and other issues.

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Kathryn T. Joseph & Associates, Inc.
Executive Commons West
29425 Chagrin Blvd.
Suite 305
Cleveland, OH 44122

Toll Free: 888-335-6650
Phone: 216-245-0504
Fax: 216-765-8817
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