From keys to debts, handling an estate is a detail-oriented responsibility.
Being named an executor of a will is a serious responsibility, but most people who are selected know nothing about how to perform the role.
An executor’s job is to handle the estate of a deceased person, says Sandra Price, a San Francisco-based tax and estate planning partner at Sideman and Bancroft, who specializes in post-death administration.
“When someone comes into my office fresh, not knowing what to do, I usually tell them that all they have to do is identify the assets and value them, pay the debts, and then distribute the assets according to the will. During the period, they need to make sure the assets are protected,” she says. “Then I say, my emphasis is that’s ‘all’ they have to do. But the devil is in the details.”