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what are the duties of an executor

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I have just returned from my mom's funeral in Tampa and am starting to go through the things she had stored in my home in order to donate them to charity.  When I get her death certificates I will send one to her pension fund so they will not send another check.  The firm that handled her cremation already has notified SS so there will be no deposits from them.

One thing I am clueless about is how to handle the insurance funds once I contact all the companies with which see carried polices.  Do I have them deposit the funds into her checking account (I have signature authority) and them write the checks for her funeral expenses against that account?   Or, do I deposit the funds into my checking account and pay the expenses from my account?  Logic indicates the former.

any help from those who have gone through this process will be appreciated

You may want to consult an estate attorney for specifics but it is my understanding that her checking account gets locked by the bank upon her death so even though you can write checks on it, she is the primary on it and no longer with us.  When my mom passed we quickly opened  up a checking account in my name as the executor and deposited funds there, then paid expenses from that.  Don't know if that was the right way (until my CPA reviews it at the end of the year) but that is how we handled it.

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