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Join estate planning attorney Liz O'Neil to learn the key responsibilities that an executor or executrix (the terms are interchangeable, with "executor" being gender-neutral) assumes when overseeing an estate. The role of an executor is crucial, as they are legally responsible for managing the estate through the probate process according to the deceased’s will and applicable law. 

Liz will review the primary responsibilities that include:

Locating and Understanding the Will: The executor must locate the deceased's will, understand its contents, and ensure that it is the final version.

Initiating the Probate Process: This involves filing the will with the appropriate probate court, which officially starts the process of estate administration.

Identifying and Securing Assets: The executor needs to locate and secure all assets of the estate, including real estate, bank accounts, investments, personal belongings, and other property.

Valuing the Estate: The executor must determine the value of the estate's assets. This may require appraisals for certain types of property like real estate, antiques, or artwork.

Managing the Estate's Finances: This includes setting up an estate account to handle incoming funds and paying ongoing expenses, such as mortgages, utility bills, and insurance premiums.

Paying Debts and Taxes: The executor is responsible for identifying any creditors of the estate and ensuring that valid debts are paid. They must also file final income tax returns for the deceased and pay any estate taxes that are due.

Communicating with Beneficiaries and Heirs: Executors must keep the beneficiaries informed about the estate’s administration and distribute assets according to the will’s directives.

Distributing the Remaining Assets: After debts and taxes are paid, the executor distributes the remaining assets to the beneficiaries as directed by the will.

Dealing with Legal Issues: This can include interpreting the will’s terms, handling disputes among beneficiaries, or dealing with challenges to the will.

Filing Final Paperwork.


*CE/CPE Eligible: 1 CE credit is available to subscribers with these designations: CFP, CLU, ChFC and RICP. CPA subscribers will earn 1 CPE credit. 

Field of Study: Specialized Knowledge

Prerequisites: There are no prerequisites for this session.

Advanced Preparation: None

Program Level: Basic

Delivery Method: Group Internet Based

NASBA Approved

Financial Experts Network (Sponsor Id#: 145173) is registered with the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA) as a sponsor of continuing professional education on the National Registry of CPE Sponsors. State boards of accountancy have final authority on the acceptance of individual courses for CPE credit. Complaints regarding registered sponsors may be submitted to the National Registry of CPE Sponsors through its website:

Liz O'Neil. Esq.
Liz O'Neil
Job Title
Estate Planning Attorney
Webinar category
Pending plans
Masterclass Series