Last week, we discussed some duties of the executor of an estate in Maryland. We learned that the executor of an estate must determine whether the estate needs to be probated, that the executor will need to obtain multiple copies of the deceased's death certificate and that the executor needs to collect all accounts of the deceased's assets. Today, we will explore two further duties of an executor: paying taxes and settling debts and accounts.
The executor of an estate will need to determine what taxes must be paid. The executor can enlist the help of a tax professional in this endeavor. Reviewing the deceased's tax returns may also help.
The executor will also need to settle the debts of the deceased. While debts will not be passed on to the deceased's heirspersonally, they will need to be paid out of the estate of the deceased, which could affect the heir's inheritance. It is important to review bank accounts or credit card accounts. In addition, credit cards may need to be cancelled, along with the deceased's Social Security benefits.
Finally, the executor must distribute the deceased's assets to the heirs of the estate, according to the deceased's will. The executor should make sure to obtain receipts from the heirs bearing their signature and date stating that the heirs were given their part of the inheritance. When it comes to distributing assets, such as bonds or stocks, it may be necessary to enlist the services of a brokerage.
Next week, we will go over more tips that will, hopefully, make all these duties run smoothly. Being the executor of an estate can be challenging, but help is available to executors that may make the process less confusing and more efficient.