One of the things that you will need to learn about when it comes to estate planning would be the role of the executor. When you write out a will, you will need to appoint someone to this position, so it is something you will need to consider very carefully. You will want to name the right person for the duty, and that means understanding what that job is in the first place.
The basic definition of an executor is someone who is responsible for probating the estate should something happen to you. There are essentially three duties that the executor you choose will be responsible for.
When the executor has taken the oath to be responsible for your estate, they will have access to your property and assets as well as any records covering these things. The executor will need to sort out this information and identify all assets, providing an inventory to the courts. Additionally, the executor will need to move all accounts out of your name and into the name of the estate.
In addition to identifying those assets, the executor will need to take over paying debts as well as taxes. If there was anything owed when something happened to you, then the executor will be responsible for ensuring that your estate pays these things. The debts will not become the personal responsibility of the executor, but will be a part of the estate instead.
Distribution of Assets
Finally, whatever assets are left after debts have been paid will need to be distributed according to your will. The executor has the responsibility of ensuring all the parameters of your will have been met and that assets go where they should based on what you wanted.
Choosing an Executor
Keep in mind that you want to choose someone you feel you could trust to work as an executor. The person you choose will have to devote some time and work to doing the job properly. Some of the other things you will want to consider when choosing an executor will include:
- Picking someone you can trust, first and foremost
- Considering someone good with finances
- Thinking of someone who will be fair
You want someone you can depend on to handle things the way you would have wanted.
When you write your will, it would be a good idea to ensure the executor is compensated for their time as well. You could choose to write them out of the will, but since you are putting your whole estate in their hands, it wouldn’t make a lot of sense to do that.
It’s important that you understand the role of an executor. That way, you will find it much easier to make the right decisions for your own estate. So, when you speak with an attorney about your own estate planning, make sure you have taken the time to consider what an executor does and then, you will be able to choose the right person for the job.