The estate executor or personal representative is one of the most important roles in managing a loved one’s estate after death. Serving as an executor comes with many responsibilities, but knowing what to expect will make the transition into this important role much easier. The following checklist can be helpful in organizing your efforts.
The first step an executor should take is to look for records and important documents that relate to the deceased’s estate.
The common places to look for records
- Personal filing cabinets: Many people keep physical copies of financial records in a home filing cabinet, safe, or in other types of physical storage. Financial records might also be kept near areas where bills are paid in the home.
- Electronic storage: Search through the deceased’s home computer, laptops, and other electronic devices for folder names that might relate to the estate. A good place to look on a computer include the “my documents” and “downloads” folders on PC or Mac. Important files are often times kept in storage devices such as an external hard drive or USB thumb drive.
- Mail: Look for correspondence from banks and other investment companies. These institutions will periodically send financial statements or even checks.