People in Arizona who have been appointed executor have a number of duties they must carry out. They can make the process easier if they get a copy of the will while the testator is still alive and familiarize themselves with it. They should also know where all important documents are located.
When the testator dies, the executor should order death certificates, which can be used to notify various agencies, creditors, and entities such as banks. The will should be submitted to court for probate. Since taxes must be filed for the estate, the executor must apply for a tax ID number in the name of the estate. The executor may also need to open a bank account in the name of the estate.
The executor must inventory all assets and submit the list to the court. It is the responsibility of the executor to keep the property safe until it is distributed to beneficiaries. Before that can happen, the executor must file taxes and pay those as well as any other fees. Finally, the assets can be distributed to the beneficiaries, a final accounting can be made and the estate can be closed. Throughout the process, the executor should keep careful financial records. An executor may hire an attorney and other professionals if necessary for help with the entire process.
People who are creating an estate plan may want to talk to an attorney about preparing the necessary documents. In addition to appointing an executor, people may also want to use the will to appoint a guardian for minor children. Other potential roles in an estate plan are the people named as agents in powers of attorney for health care and finances should the principal become incapacitated.