How to Choose the Right Executor of Your Will
Making a will is an important part of estate planning. One of the things that you need to decide is who you want to be the executor of your will. If you choose a person as opposed to a law firm or other entity, you will also want to have an alternate in case the original executor predeceases you. However, it can be hard to decide on whom to name as the executor. This article will discuss some tips and things to think about when trying to make this important decision.
The Role of the Executor
The executor of a will has many different responsibilities. The American Bar Association describes the role of the executor as such someone who is “responsible for collecting the assets of the estate, protecting the estate property, preparing an inventory of the property, paying valid claims against the estate (including taxes), representing the estate in claims against others, and, finally, distributing the estate property to the beneficiaries.”
Being an executor can require a significant amount of work. Fortunately, the executor does not have to do all of these duties alone and they can hire professionals paid by the estate to help with the parts of executing the will that the executor is not able to do on their own.
Professional Executor or Family Member?
There are professionals that you can hire to be your executor. This can make things much easier for your family, especially with a complicated estate. However, professional executors or lawyers also charge fees that may not make it worth it. While any executor, professional or family member, may charge a reasonable fee to the estate, most of the time friends or family members that are named as executors waive the fee. One of the other big considerations when thinking about whether the executor should be paid is the likelihood that the will may be contested. If there are contentious family issues, an executor that is also a beneficiary may be accused of dishonesty. However, if you think it will go smoothly then it may be worth the reduced fees to have a friend or family member as executor.
Executor is a Job
As you can see in the duties of an executor described above, there are many specific kinds of skills that an executor should have. It does not always make sense to name the person closest to you to be the executor, but rather the person whom you trust but who also is able to carry out the demands of the role. Once you have decided on who you want to be your executor, you also need to get his or her approval to be named.
Let Us Assist You Today
Estate planning is an important part of planning for the future and you need a knowledgeable estate planning attorney to help you and your heirs make sure that your wishes are carried out after your death. Our skilled estate planning attorneys at the Millhorn Elder Law Planning Group in the Villages can assist you with this or any other elder law needs.