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How to be the executor of a parent's will

Being the executor of a parent's will is an emotional as well as administrative task. It involves handling financial obligations, attending any necessary court hearings and managing assets until the estate has been settled. Nevada residents who have been named as executors of their parents' last wishes should know that there are many steps involved in this process.

Individuals who have been designated as executors should consult with their parents, if possible, to make sure they fully understand their loved ones' wishes. Questions should be asked to clear up any uncertainty.

An executor should locate his or her parent's original will and ensure that it is placed in a secure location. The same should be done with any other important documents including military records, Social Security documents, credit card statements, financial account information, insurance policies, trust records and safety deposit boxes.

It will also be necessary for the executor to obtain several copies of the certified death certificate in order to notify insurance companies, banks and other parties of his or her parent's passing. Multiple copies may be obtained from the town clerk, municipal recording-keeping office, or county medical examiner's office in the municipality where the parent lived.

An executor will have to determine if the estate is required to go through the probate process. If the assets of the estate are not held in a trust, probate may be necessary in order to verify the legitimacy of the will. Whether or not this process is needed, the will should still be filed with the probate court.

There are a variety of services an attorney who practices estate planning law can provide to individuals who are tasked with handling their deceased parents' estates. Typical probate and estate administration services include legal representation at probate hearings if the contents of the will are challenged, determining accurate asset valuations and assisting with the distribution of the assets.

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