Executor Roadmap: Paying Everyone in The Estate

This is the third and final stage of the Executor Roadmap. Read stage one and stage two.

 Step 7: Pay all bills before distributing estate assets.

Executors are personally responsible to pay all creditors from estate funds. Income tax clearances protect you from personal liability. Tax returns must be properly prepared and filed. To obtain tax clearances, all returns are assessed, and taxes paid. You are glad you had professional tax advice. Professionally prepare tax returns can prevent delays.

Step 8: Distribute estate assets based on will instructions.

Follow court orders and will instructions to distribute or pay everyone. You may have heard of the term “executor’s year”. Usually you are allowed one year to pay beneficiaries. But this does not mean you have to rush. But you also can’t sit back and do nothing.

You’re entitled to executor compensation by law. Estate lawyers can advise about your compensation that is taxable income. Compensation must be approved by residual beneficiaries who receive your estate accounting. Adult beneficiaries can sign releases to confirm they are satisfied with your work. Hopefully, you have kept them informed.

Step 9: Close the estate and maintain your records.

Obtain releases from beneficiaries before you distribute estate assets. Check that no court order is required for trusts or minors, or executor bonds to windup the estate. Maintain all executor records for six years in case of audit.

Now you can receive your thanks. Your three-stage estate journey is over.

Let me know if you find my Executor Roadmap helpful.

Need executor help? I have helped executors since 1978. I can help solve estate problems. I am a certified specialist with a master’s degree in dispute resolution. Contact me now.