Someone who is appointed either in the deceased’s will or by the court to administer the estate is called an executor or personal representative. This person is responsible for gathering and appraising your assets, settling any debts left behind, and distributing the assets as your will instructs. There may even be mediation services included in the executor’s job. When choosing an executor, you want to pick someone who is trustworthy, commonsensical and is willing to do the job. You should speak to a candidate in advance to be sure they are capable of doing the job and will not opt out of it. Some people appoint their family members, and often if there is no appointed executor, a family member will be chosen. Follow these tips below on considering the right person for the job!
Choosing Your Executor
1. A cousin who is a professional lawyer may be a good fit, but that doesn’t mean that they know about estates and execution. Be sure to choose someone who understands the role and responsibilities well.
2. Make considerations about age and stability before choosing an executor and be sure to have a secondary designation just in case something changes.
3. You may be inclined to name one of your children as executor. If you have multiple children, consider appointing a maximum of two to control the estate. Having only one may put too much pressure on them, but two seems much more stable in the eyes of surviving family members. Remember that this may be too much for them as your children, so think very carefully about whether they are the best suited.
4. When you complete your will, your family should be made aware of who the executor is. Now they will know who to contact when you pass and who they will be dealing with over the probate process.
5. The Executor should have a copy of your will. Your probate attorney from Legal Sweeney can give you a form that allows this to happen and it will include sensitive information such as: deeds, mortgages, life insurance policy information, social security number and other bits to allow them to gain access to your assets for distribution.
Planning Your Estate with a Professional
This is a serious decision that should be carefully considered when you plan for your will. An executor should help the process run smoothly so that your family may rest easy after you have passed. Do not leave an executor designation up to the court, only you know what your wishes will be, so it is best to call an estate planning attorney to create a guide for your loved ones.