Many people are overwhelmed when suddenly they have to assume executor duties. The major question is where do I begin? So often we have been called to find specific papers Most lawyers usually have a specific list of the papers you need: Things like the will, birth certificate, marriage certificate, ownership papers, insurance papers, banking and legal papers, the death certificate, safety deposit key will be needed. If you are fortunate they will be in a folder or filing cabinet but often you have to go searching for them.
In many cases it is wise to make sure you have all the keys for the residence. If needed have the locks changed. Frequently we are amazed at the number of people who have access to a home and how they feel entitled to specific items. Although there is no written record people will say “She promised me her silver…jewelry….coin collection…”
Keep a record of everything you do on behalf of the estate: the people you talked to and what you discussed, the forms you filled out, the emails you sent or received, the places you needed to go to attend to pressing needs….