Who Should I Choose to Be the Executor of My Will?
Estate planning can help ensure an accurate and friction-free distribution of your possessions.
The person or institution you put in charge of administering your estate and carrying out your final wishes is called your executor. Making that choice is one of the most important decisions you will make when preparing a Will. But what are your options?
Choosing A Good Executor For Your Will
The ideal candidate should be honest, reliable, well-organized, unintimidated by paperwork and responsibility, and a stickler for deadlines. The duties required include, but are not limited to, taking inventory of everything in the estate, filing court papers to start the probate process in order to legally determine the Will’s validity, distributing assets to all the beneficiaries named in the Will, executing details like terminating credit cards and notifying banks and several government agencies like Social Security and the post office of the death, preparing and filing the deceased’s final income tax return, using the estate’s funds to pay bills like including taxes, funeral costs, etc.
If your executor if choice happens to live in another state, it is important to know if your state imposes any special requirements. For instance, some states require that an out-of-state executor is a family member or a beneficiary, some require a bond to protect your heirs in case of mismanagement and some require the appointment of an in-state agent.
With so much responsibility that comes with estate planning, keep in mind that if the person you choose needs help settling your estate, they can always call on an expert like an attorney to guide them through the process, with your estate picking up the cost.
Make Sure They Know
Whomever you choose as your executor, be sure to get their approval before naming them in your Will. Once you’ve made your choice and secured their acceptance, it is important to go over details such as where you keep important documents such as financial information. Keeping this stressful time as straightforward as possible for all involved is key.