What is an executor?
You're the executor! The person in charge of closing the estate. It's an important role, so understanding that it's a big responsibility is step one.
Who pays for the funeral arrangements?
The executor must pay for the funeral arrangements, but can be reimbursed by the estate once the estate bank account is established. Often the testator will make provisions for their funeral in their will, so the executor only has to carry out instructions.
The executor takes inventory of assets and chooses who receives them
Who decides who gets the family cottage? Dad's car? Mom's wedding ring? The executor does not get to choose who receives which assets - it is all done according to the will. That is why the reading and interpretation of the will is such an important step.
Both my sister and I are named executors - who is in charge?
Joint executors can be tough. When one or more people - usually children - are named executor, they must come to unanimous decisions and sign all documents together. It can slow down the process and closing of the estate.
What is a testator?
The testator is the formal term for the person who made the will. It is the owner of the estate you're closing.
You had to fly home to sort out the funeral arrangements. Is that covered?
Executors can seek reimbursement from the estate funds, if there is enough to cover them. You may have to wait until the estate bank account can be established.