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3 Immediate Actions To Take When You Are An Executor Of A Loved One's Will

If a loved one recently passed away, you may have discovered that you were named the executor of their will and wonder what you need to do to ensure your family member's final requests are honored. If so, take the following three immediate actions required after you become the executor of a will.

Get a Legal Copy of Your Loved One's Will

If you do not already have one, get a legal copy of your loved one's will. Make sure it is notarized and stamped by the courts, as this proves the will was properly filed before they passed away.

While you may be able to complete the necessary paperwork with a photocopy or handwritten will, a legal copy can make the probate process go faster and easier. If your loved one did not file a copy of the will, you may have to make do with the copy you have.

However, you should speak with a probate lawyer before you attempt to file to find out about the specific requirements for your state.

File Paperwork with the Probate Court

As soon as possible after your loved one has died, fill out all of the necessary paperwork with the probate court to receive documentation that you are truly the executor of the will. Even if you have a certified copy, you will also want an official order from the courts. 

Being officially named as the executor can help you deal with any issues that could arise while your loved one's estate is going through probate proceedings. For example, if another family member disputes the will, you can prove that you are in charge until the courts settle all outstanding matters.

Obtain a Copy of the Death Certificate

As the executor of your loved one's estate, you will also be responsible for settling debts and taking temporary control of any property until the probate proceedings are completed. Along with a copy of the will and an order from the court showing you are the executor, you will also need to obtain a copy of the death certificate.

While a court order is often all that is required to speak with certain parties about your deceased loved one's finances, some companies may require additional proof that they have died. It is a good idea to have this on hand just in case. If you are having problems getting a copy of the death certificate, speak with an attorney who deals with probate matters to see if they can help.

Taking the above actions after becoming an executor after your loved one's death can help make the probate process go more smoothly. However, if you have any questions or concerns, make an appointment with a probate attorney to seek guidance on how to proceed with the legalities of being an executor of a will. Visit a site like for more help.