Settling an estate involves a significant number of diverse tasks, including notifications, asset collection, debt resolution, legal submissions, tax payments, distributions, and more. These tasks often depend on estate particulars, and while some tasks should simply be done when possible and convenient, others have strict deadlines (calculated from the date of death, from the date of other task completions, or even just in terms of calendar year dates).
While individual tasks required for estate settlement are often relatively straightforward, in practice you will find that there is not a simple 1... 2... 3... set of steps you can follow in strict sequential order. Often you will work on one task, work on another, return to the first to do more work, and so on. Consequently, it is very important to stay organized, understand timeline requirements, and keep good track of what you have done, and what remains to be done.
EstateExec provides high-level guidance for the overall executor process via the Tasks tab. The Task checklist initially contains a list of tasks applicable for the vast majority of estates, including those that require probate, and gains specialized additions as more information about the estate becomes available.
The Task checklist is useful, but it is not intended to be an exhaustive list, and you should keep in mind that the majority of EstateExec's long-term utility also lies in its ability to track and manage assets, debts, and cash, and to optionally share that information with heirs. Separate from tracking tasks, you may also want to track your time spent, especially for states which generally tie executor compensation to time spent.
EstateExec automatically adds or removes tasks based upon particulars of the estate, such as state location, year of death, etc. (you can see a generic executor checklist here). In addition, the contents and details of an estate task can also vary significantly based on estate particulars.
EstateExec marks certain tasks inapplicable depending on estate gross value (and other factors). When setting up a new estate, you are asked to provide a rough estimate for the estate gross value, so that EstateExec can determine the likely applicability of these tasks. You can change this estimate at any time (see Track Task: Estate Value), and you can also tell EstateExec to instead use the actual values of the assets listed on the Assets tab, although this wouldn't really make sense in the early stages of the estate settlement process, when you are still trying to find all the assets and determine their values.
Finally, note that EstateExec automatically marks certain tasks complete as you accomplish them in other parts of the program.
You can add your own personal tasks to the Task checklist as well. Simply click the "Create Task" button at the top of the table to define a new task (see Track Task: Custom Tasks). To later change details about a custom personal task, just click on the task itself to bring up the associated edit dialog.
You may want to keep in mind that it can be overwhelming to try to structure every little "to-do", and that there is no legal requirement to track custom tasks. That being said, in some cases it can be helpful to have a record of your activities and time spent, which you can track via the Time Log.
Some EstateExec tasks include links to third-party service providers who can help you complete the task, often with a special EstateExec discount (for example, see Task: Dispose of unwanted assets). EstateExec does not recommend or receive compensation from these discount providers; we make these offers available simply as a service to our customers. See also Discounts.
Here are a few helpful things to know about the Tasks table (see also Track Task Reference):
You can do some very helpful things with EstateExec tables. For example,