When you start planning your estate and creating a will, one of the many questions you may be asked is who the executor of your estate will be. This could throw you off guard if you don’t know how an executor functions in your will.
You shouldn’t have to be in the dark about who your executor should be – here’s what you should know:
Assigning the right person for the job
An executor of an estate essentially handles your estate after you pass on. There are many steps executors must do to protect your estate, including:
- Submit the will to the court for validation
- Make copies of death certificates
- Notify creditors
- Locate and protect assets
- Relocate pets and plants
- Pay estate taxes
While it may be true that anyone can be the executor of an estate, not everyone is fit for the role. There are certain skills that someone close could provide as an executor:
- Trustful: the person you assign as executor should be trusted to take on their role and protect your assets without taking anything for their own benefit
- Responsible: missing even one step during the process of executor could cause disputes and legal battles
- Dedicated: the role of executor isn’t always easy and many people can be overwhelmed by tasks and grief
- Timely: an executor has to act fast once they’re notified of your death
- Organized: there may be lots of paperwork, assets and people to report to while working as executor
Not everyone assigns an executor over their estate – often because no will was made. When this happens, someone, often your closest relative, will be given charge of acting as executor. This could mean your estate isn’t handled how you intend it and can cause problems for your heirs.
Estate planning can be complex, and you shouldn’t have to do it alone. Experienced legal guidance is available.