I am the Executor of a family member's will. What do I have to do?

As Executor of a will, you will need to locate the original will, and formally open the estate at the courthouse.  In Pennsylvania, there are certain requirements for publishing the estate publicly, as well as sending notice to any beneficiaries named in the will.  As executor, you will need to gather all of the decedent's financial information, so that you can ensure any debts are paid, an Inventory of the estate can be prepared, and any issues with beneficiaries can be handled.  You will open an estate account, so that bills can be paid and certain assets may be liquidated. A probate attorney can help you with all of these tasks, as well as the preparation of the estate tax return. As Executor, you are entitled to claim a fee for your services.