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The executor's role

The executor under the will of a Nevada testator has multiple important responsibilities. Many people who are named as executors are members of the testator's family or a close friend, and some do not know what they are supposed to do in the role and may make errors.

The basic duties of an executor are to inventory and identify all of the testator's assets and debts, value the assets, pay off the debts, notify the beneficiaries, distribute the assets and protect the assets throughout the process. The primary way in which people make mistakes is in how they deal with the small details of the role.

One mistake is when an executor deviates from the testator's wishes without getting prior court approval to do so. This can lead to potential liability. Executors also must contend with the probate court process, and it can be easy to make mistakes in how things are filed with the court and with the procedure if the executor doesn't have a legal background. The property and assets should be secured, and the executor should make certain to communicate with all of the beneficiaries and with the creditors of the estate.

Some executors may find that getting help from an attorney throughout the estate administration process may make their jobs significantly easier. Executors are not expected to be experts, and thus they are certainly entitled to obtain the representation of an attorney as well as other professionals such as accountants and appraisers. This can be especially important when it comes to filing both the decedent's final tax return as well as the estate tax return, both of which are also important duties.

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