An executor’s duties during the probate of an estate include keeping detailed records of the estates assets and finances. Probate law requires that all estate assets and transactions involving estate funds be recorded and reported to the probate court for review. This helps ensure that the executor is being honest and that all beneficiaries receive their rightful inheritance.
Because of the complexity of the records that must be kept by an executor, the Dayton, Ohio probate lawyers at Gudorf Law Group highly recommend hiring an accountant or lawyer to help with the record keeping. The accountant’s fees can be paid for out of the estate and will give relatives and beneficiaries confidence that the executor’s duties are being fulfilled competently.
Executor Duties: The Records You Should Keep
The following is a list of records executors should keep during the probate of an estate in order to comply with Ohio probate law as recommended by the Dayton, Ohio probate lawyers at Gudorf Law Group:
- Inventory of all real estate and personal property owned or co-owned by decedent at time of death, including an estimated value of each item
- Statements for all the decedent’s financial and investment accounts, along with accounting of changes in value
- Registers/ledgers for all bank accounts owned by the decedent and any accounts opened for purpose of probating the estate
- Statements and transaction records for all investments made with funds from the estate during the probate process
- Receipts and invoices for all purchases and expenses, including professional services (attorneys, accountants, etc.) and funeral and burial expenses, that are to be paid out of the estate
- Proof of distribution for all real estate and personal property distributed to beneficiaries
- Records of all insurance payments paid to the estate and beneficiaries
- Federal, state and local income tax returns filed by the decedent for the last three years
- Federal and/or state estate tax and gift tax returns
- Titles to all vehicles owned or co-owned by decedent at time of death
- Deeds for all real estate owned or co-owned by decedent at time of death
- Statements for all debts of the decedent and estate, including credit cards, mortgages, loans, utilities, insurance, other obligations, along with records of changes in value to these accounts such as interest accruement or monthly payments
- Records for any businesses the decedent owned or co-owned at time of death, including the following:
- Business formation documents
- Buy/sell agreements, stock purchase agreements and other agreements
- Bank accounts and lines of credit
- Investment accounts
- Business property inventory, along with deeds and titles
- Business tax returns
An executor’s duties include not only gathering these records but maintaining them during the course of the probate process. Whenever creditors or expenses are paid or assets are distributed in any way, or when assets appreciate in value, these changes must be recorded and updated by the executor. Once the estate has been distributed, probate court will have a court-appointed accountant review the records for accuracy, so it’s important that the records be accurate and kept correctly. Only once the court has approved the records and the case is close do the executor’s duties conclude.
In Dayton, Ohio the probate lawyer’s office of Gudorf Law Group, LLC, can assist with fulfilling an executor’s duties to ensure compliance with Ohio probate law. Call our office at 1-877-483-6730 to schedule a free consultation.