Deciding on whom you’ll designate as your executor is one of the essential aspects of drafting your last will. You can’t find a set guideline for choosing one, but picking the wrong person will make things more challenging for your loved ones. Below is a guide that will teach you about an executor and the tips for choosing the right one.
Let’s Describe What Executors Are
Your representative, commonly called executors, are the parties or people responsible for managing your estate after passing away or getting disabled. Executors work as guardians, meaning they have the legal duty to act in your estate’s best interests. In fact, the court can appoint someone if you die without leaving a will, or you can nominate someone in your last will. Your executors are responsible for:
- Paying estate taxes and debts
- Distributing your assets
- Filing an inventory of your assets and submitting it to the probate court
- Maintaining your assets
- Opening bank accounts to pay liabilities and collect funds
- Making copies of your will and sending it to the probate court
Designating Who Your Executor Is
Many find it challenging to be appointed as an executor because it comes with many responsibilities. Making one of your family members or friends your executors might seem the best path, but that will not always be in your best interest. Below are five tips that will help you wisely pick your will’s executor if you pass away or get injured.
Only Pick a Responsible Individual
Your chosen executor should be responsible. In addition, the appointed person doesn’t have to be a financial planner, accountant, or attorney. You have to be responsible. Hire the right professionals to help you make tough decisions if necessary, communicate with beneficiaries efficiently, and address estate matters quickly.
You can also appoint a trust company, debt refinancing firm, accountant, or attorney if you don’t have responsible family members or friends. However, assigning them as executors might require you to pay for their additional services. Others might even ask for higher payments than your family or friends. For example, trust companies and financial institutions refuse to be executors unless you pay them.
Designate One Younger Executor
Bear in mind that your will doesn’t expire. You can still execute your will; however, times can change. Most attorneys will only ask you to appoint one executor to make your document valid, but you should still appoint one younger, healthier successor. It should be someone who will outlive you if you only drafted one will during your lifetime.
Making this decision is also helpful if your primary beneficiary decides not to serve or dies before you. You can do it by stating a parameter in your will or explicitly naming that individual.
Make the Distribution Drama-Free
Most people tend to appoint close family members or friends as sole beneficiaries, but they don’t get along with each other. That’s often the case where siblings can’t stand each other’s presence. Only naming one executor isn’t a wise decision. Your sole beneficiaries can use that position to inflict harm on the other individual by being mean, adding more to the problems, or causing delays with the distribution.
If this happens, you can either leave nothing for both parties or assign both parties to force them to get along with each other. If your beneficiaries get along, leaving them with nothing seems to be the perfect decision. It’ll make the allocation less dramatic.
Find Emotionally-Grounded Sides
More importantly, you want to appoint an executor who can handle the burden without hesitation while also keeping their emotions in control. You’ll also have to pick someone who can be objective and impartial. Managing the distribution of your assets is a tedious job, especially if your loved ones are still coping with their loss. Most executors only worry about receiving the property and money left for them.
You want to appoint an executor who can communicate without getting stressed out or intimidated. Designate someone that can work as a mediator looking out for everyone.
Don’t Appoint Disqualified Parties
Your executor’s job is to sign checks. Most courts will not approve individuals with a criminal record or can’t reach out to. Hence, you can’t appoint people outside the United States as sole beneficiaries. Moreover, courts will not accept former criminals from being nominated as executors. Minors can’t also serve as executors.
Handling probate work is challenging. Even simple procedures can be frustrating and tedious. Your appointed executors should be prepared to invest their time, not expect immediate outcomes. Encourage them to stay strong and be patient.