What are the Duties of an Executor?

It is the job of an Executor to administer the probate process under Court supervision.  This means first being appointed by the Court. Then gathering all assets and paying all creditors.  Next distributing the remaining assets after creditor payment. Accounting for all assets owned by the decedent until ultimate distribution (and this must be done to the penny).  And, lastly, doing the tax returns of the deceased and the tax return of the Estate (an Estate, as a separate and distinct legal entity, has its own tax return). It is always recommend that the Executor hire an attorney to assist him or her with probate, as well as to consult with a CPA and the financial advisor of the deceased. Note that the attorney's fees are generally paid by the Estate — not by the Executor, personally.