What are the duties of an estate administrator?

The person who administers or executes an estate has significant duties. This person has much responsibility because the person who created the estate placed a lot of trust in the administrator.

As an administrator, you should understand the responsibilities of an estate administrator.

File with the probate court

Your first task will likely include gathering all the deceased’s debt paperwork. Also, you should create a thorough list of the assets in the estate. Get appraisals for the estate’s valuables, including businesses, real estate, jewelry, artwork, etc. Then, file this information with the probate court in your area.

File income taxes

The IRS requires that estate administrators file tax returns for the deceased for the year of his or her year of death. You also need to file an income tax return for the estate as a whole.

Pay all debt

Contact the deceased’s creditors and work out how you will pay the debt, including tax debts. If the estate does not have the assets to pay all the debt, work with the creditors on prorated payments or settlements of the debt. You may have to sell businesses, real estate or other assets to pay this debt.

Distribute the assets

After you have paid all the deceased’s debts, you will consult the will and other estate documents and begin distributions.

Remember that you may receive a percentage of the estate because you are its executor, but check state law to learn how much you should receive. For example, in Florida, you are eligible for two to three percent of the total value of the estate, depending on its size.

As you work through the estate, keep careful records to protect yourself during the probate process.