Arranging for the distribution of your financial assets after you die will include the execution of legally binding documents. However, everything is not accomplished on paper alone. Estate administration is a factor as well.
Certain tasks must be accomplished after you die to bring your wishes to fruition. Someone must handle these estate administration tasks. When you use a last will as your vehicle of asset transfer, this person is the executor.
When you are creating your will you can, and should, nominate an executor. If you don’t choose your own executor when you are drawing up your will, the probate court would be forced to appoint a personal representative to assume the role of estate administrator.
What Does an Executor Do?
An executor takes care of the business of the estate. One of the first orders of business for the executor will be the admission of the will to probate.
The probate court supervises the administration of the estate. The estate is kind of like a business entity. There are different interested parties. Obviously the heirs to the estate are among the interested parties.
There could be other interested parties, such as creditors and tax collectors. Valid debts must be satisfied by the executor before the remaining assets are distributed among the heirs.
The executor is the point of contact for anyone who has business with the estate. This is going to include the court, the heirs, and creditors. It could also include anyone who wanted to contest the estate.
He or she will also be dealing with various professionals that will be needed to assist with the administration of the estate. This can include a probate attorney, an accountant, appraisers, and liquidators.
Choosing the Right Executor
You obviously want to choose an executor that you can trust. However, this is not the only factor. If you think about all the tasks that must be completed, you need to nominate someone who has a good bit of business acumen.
In addition to this, depending on the estate in question, all of these tasks can be very time-consuming. As a result, you want to nominate an executor who actually has the time to administer the estate.
Communicating With Executor
Once you choose an executor, you must make sure this individual is willing to assume the role. If he or she is indeed willing to act as executor, you must see to it that he or she has access to relevant paperwork, keys to property and vehicles, Internet account access, etc.
This is a brief look at the role of an executor. To learn everything you need to know, arrange for a consultation with a licensed estate planning attorney.
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Ryan M. DenmanandDennis D. Duffy
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