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When you die, your executor administers your estate and follows the directions provided in your will. Among the executor's duties are collecting and valuing your assets, paying taxes and debts out of those assets, and distributing the remaining assets to your heirs.
You may want to appoint a family member or close friend as executor. Or you may choose a professional, such as a lawyer or bank trust officer.
What some people do is name a professional and a friend or family member to work together, especially if the estate is large or there are potential complications.
Executors are entitled to be paid for their work, which ends when your estate is settled, usually anywhere from one to three years after your death. Professional executors always charge, while friends and family may or may not.