Dealing with the death of a friend or family member is often accompanied by strong emotions of grief and loss. If you have been named as the administrator of an estate in Pennsylvania, you may feel even more overwhelmed. The estate executor has many crucial responsibilities in finalizing the finances and property of the deceased’s estate. Once given this important role, you must ensure that you fully understand what is being asked so that you can perform the role to the best of your ability.

Depending on the specifics of the situation, you may be asked to put the estate through the probate process. However, if the funds were left in a trust before the deceased passed away, they may avoid going to probate. It is your job to protect and maintain the estate while you find and contact the beneficiaries named in the last will and testament. As the administrator, you must calculate the value of the estate, including property, assets, vehicles, term life insurance policies, antiques and art. You may choose to have an estate sale in order to liquidate the property, making it easier to transfer to the beneficiaries named in the will.

You are also expected to pay the final expenses dealing with the estate, including credit card bills, mortgages and funeral expenses. If the deceased paid for life insurance policies, it is your responsibility to contact those life insurance companies and present the death certificate to finalize the plan.

This information is intended to educate and should not be taken as legal advice.