An executrix of an estate is a female executor. When a person dies and leaves behind an estate, it can become a very difficult situation for family members to deal with. Having an executrix assigned to the estate before the death occurs makes the process a little easier for the family. The executrix has many responsibilities immediately after the owner of the estate passes away.
Funeral Arrangements - Immediate Duties
An executrix has the immediate duties of contacting the family members of the deceased. She must also begin the process of setting up the funeral arrangements if they haven't been made previously. If the funeral has not been prepaid, she must take care of the arrangements according to the deceased's wishes. The same must be done for the cemetery plot and tombstone. The executrix must also take care of the living expenses of the immediate family including wife or husband and any dependent children living with the deceased by taking money out of the bank to pay for everyday expenses. These expenses would include food, clothing, telephone bills, rent or mortgage.
Investigation and Collection
One of the first things the executrix needs to do is verify that the will is legal by having it filed in a probate court. It is the executrix's responsibility to find out if the deceased has any insurance policies, retirement funds, or if still working, any death benefits due to the estate. Once these sources of revenue have been found, the executrix will contact these organizations and begin the steps to collect the money due the estate. The executrix will also close all bank accounts and safe deposit boxes. If the deceased has a safe deposit box, the executrix will have the responsibility of opening the box and making a written list of its contents.
Balancing the Books of the Estate
The executrix must open a bank account in the name of the estate to collect all monies owed to the deceased and to pay off any debts owed by the deceased. All credit cards must also be canceled unless they are in the spouse's name and the spouse is still living. She will also cancel all subscriptions, insurances, phone and electric services, if applicable.
Before Closing Out the Estate
She must estimate the fair market value of everything in the estate, file state and federal income tax returns for year of death. The Executrix must prepare and inventory for the court, transfer and distribute any property and assets to the beneficiaries, pay any probate taxes and complete a final accounting for the court.