When you think about the process of estate planning, the execution of documents will probably come to mind. This is a large part of the endeavor to be sure, but someone must follow the instructions that you leave behind in these documents. If you use a last will as your primary vehicle of asset transfer, this person will be the executor.
Choosing the Right Executor
Your first impulse may be to name someone who is especially close to you as the executor of your estate. This could be the right choice, but you should consider the duties of the executor before you make any final decisions.
There are a number of different business oriented tasks that the executor must complete during the estate administration process. First off, there is a proving of the will. The last will must be admitted to probate, and the probate court will determine its validity and supervise the administration of the estate.
There are certain laws that govern the probate process, so the executor must do everything that is required. Creditors must be notified, and final debts must be paid, including taxes. Relevant government agencies must be informed about the decedent’s passing, and financial accounts must be closed.
The property must be identified, inventoried, and prepared for distribution to the heirs. This can involve appraisals and liquidation. Selling property at fair prices can be somewhat complicated as we all know, especially real property, so liquidation is more than just a printed word.
Now that you have some idea about the duties of the executor, you can see that the person that you nominate should be a business savvy individual with considerable administrative skills.
Since probate can be time-consuming, the executor should be someone who has the time to take on the job.
The executor is going to be the person that interested parties contact if they have questions about the estate administration process. This can include inheritors, and they can sometimes be quite demanding. As a result, the ideal executor will be a patient person who is a very effective communicator.
Ideally, the executor will live in your area, and you also want to be reasonably sure that the executor will be alive and well at the time of your passing. It would be possible to name an alternate in your will if you have concerns.
Because of the demands, you should certainly talk things over with the person that you want to nominate. Make sure that the nominee is willing to assume the role.
Estate Administration Report
If you would like to learn more about estate administration and the role of the executor, download our special report. The report is free, and you can visit this page to access your copy: Report on Estate Administration.