For those people who have gone through a significant life change or have begun to consider drafting an estate plan, choosing an executor is a crucial step. It may seem obvious, but the complicated nature of estate plans means determining who will oversee that plan later on is a tough decision.
Requirements for an executor
The role of an executor is a huge responsibility. There are some tangible requirements for choosing an executor. Though nothing in life is set in stone, you have to be relatively sure that your chosen executor will outlive you under the best-case scenario. For many people, this means choosing someone significantly younger than them. An executor should be someone that you can rely on and who has the trust and best interests of your family at heart. Depending on the type of estate, it may help to choose an executor who has experience in the kind of assets that comprise your estate, whether that’s real property, business ownership, etc. Here are some of the tasks that executors must accomplish:
- Looking over the will and any additional documents
- Filing the will with a probate court
- Creating an inventory for the assets included in the will
- Overseeing any assets in trusts that may not be subject to probate
- Make sure that debts and taxes are paid before the person’s assets are distributed
- That all relatives and heirs are contacted
Make sure your beneficiaries and heirs are protected
Think long and hard when choosing an executor. Find someone and speak with them about their willingness to take on this critical role. You can draft the most careful estate plan in the world, but the wrong executor can put that estate at risk.