Under Indiana law, an executor, or personal representative, must be 18 years old, mentally competent and usually a state resident. The executor's job is to wrap up all the decedent's affairs. Taking the job, the Indiana Bar Association says, obligates you to use your best judgment and to manage the estate in the interests of the heirs, not your own interests.
Manage the Assets
As executor, your job under the Indiana statutes includes identifying the estate assets, such as bank accounts, real estate, investments and collectibles. You must make an inventory, take control of the different assets and manage them as needed -- paying the mortgage on real estate, keeping up insurance and handling repairs, for instance.
Debts and Assets
It's your responsibility to pay any taxes that are due -- the decedent's final income tax return, the estate's income tax return, property tax on any real estate and the federal estate tax, if necessary. You must attempt to find anyone the deceased owes money to and settle the debts. Only after everything is paid do you get to distribute assets to the heirs.
Getting It Right
If you don't think you'll make a good executor, you can refuse the appointment. If you accept the job, you don't have to go it alone. The Indiana Bar says most counties have helpful executor guides in their online legal form libraries. You can also hire an attorney or other professional with estate funds to help you in areas where you lack expertise. You're entitled to a fee for the work -- either one the deceased set in the will or one the probate court considers fair and reasonable.