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In the past, this blog has discussed the reasons why probate in Kansas is an important step in the distribution of assets. When a person has a will, the person who carries it out is known as the executor. An executor may be appointed in the will itself, or the court may appoint an executor. Being appointed an executor is a big responsibility. Below is a brief overview of the tasks the executor is responsible for completing.

First of all, the executor has to let the decedent’s creditors along with the heirs know that the estate is going through probate. In addition, it is the responsibility of the executor to locate and collect all of the decedent’s assets. This includes any sources of income, such as income deriving from dividends, from a rental property that the decedent owned and interest from financial accounts.

The executor also needs to ascertain the details regarding the heirs. This includes identifying how the heirs are related to the decedent, along with their addresses, how old they are and their names.

Furthermore, if there are any pending lawsuits that the decedent was involved in, they need to be settled. The executor also needs to take care of any tax filings and payments for the purposes of the decedent’s taxes. This includes income taxes, estate taxes and inheritance taxes.

In addition, the executor must settle any creditor claims. They may need to sell property from the estate in order to do this. The executor also needs to hand over any property titles to the decedent’s heirs. Finally, once all of this is completed, the executor is responsible for distributing the remainder of the property to the heirs.

Probate administration may seem like a difficult task. However, it is important to keep in mind that an estate planning attorney can help guide the executor through the process of managing the decedent’s estate. Therefore, those who have been appointed as an executor may want to enlist the help of an attorney in order to obtain legal advice, which this post does not provide.

Source: Kansas Bar Association, “What is Probate?,” Accessed Aug. 3, 2015