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Robert N. Getz

Washington probate: What does an executor do?

Anyone who has been chosen to close out a loved one's estate may feel overwhelmed at the task. Being an executor is not an easy job, especially if it is something one has never done before. This week, this column will discuss the role of the executor in the state of Washington and what a probate law attorney can do to help those in this position.

So, what does an executor do? He or she has the job of closing out an estate. This means that he or she will have to:

  • Locate a will -- if there is one
  • Open a probate case
  • Notify beneficiaries
  • Notify creditors
  • Pay taxes
  • Pay any debts
  • Address any claims made against the estate
  • Distribute assets

On top of these things, an executor will also be responsible for closing any bank accounts, canceling subscriptions, closing credit card accounts and, if applicable, notifying the government if the decedent was receiving any benefits -- such as Social Security or disability payments. In other words, there are a lot of big and little tasks that need to be completed. All are important, and none can be overlooked.

When named an executor, one might have many worries about making sure they do everything right. Thankfully, an executor does not have to handle everything on his or her own. Those who need assistance closing out a loved one's estate in the state of Washington can turn to an experienced probate law attorney for help. Legal counsel will have the ability to walk one through all the steps required to close out an estate and help one manage any issues that may arise during the process.

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