If you use a last will to record your final wishes regarding the inheritances that your loved ones will be receiving, you nominate someone to handle the estate administration tasks after you die. This person is called the executor.
The estate executor has a number of different real world responsibilities. It is not just a ceremonial honor that you bestow upon someone that you love and respect.
You may imagine the executor reading a will after the funeral, and the idea would be that the executor can start distributing assets right away. In fact, this is not the case. The first order of business for the executor will be to admit the will to probate.
During probate, a court must supervise the administration of the estate, so the executor should ideally have some understanding of the probate process.
All of the assets that comprise the estate must be rounded up by the executor, and final debts must be paid during probate, so the executor must notify creditors.
The executor will ultimately prepare the property for distribution to the heirs in accordance with the wishes of the decedent. Depending on the circumstances, appraisals and liquidation of property may be necessary.
In addition to all of these tasks, the executor is going to be the point of contact for anyone who has an interest in the estate. Because of this, the ideal executor will be a good communicator who can patiently interact with family members and others.
Choosing the Right Executor
When you digest all of the above, you can see that the executor should be a business minded individual who has experience handling somewhat complicated financial situations.
Longevity also enters the equation. Will the person that you nominate be around to administer the estate after your passing?
Thirdly, this can be a demanding position, so you should make sure that the person that you are going to nominate is willing to take on the responsibility.
Geography is another factor. You probably do not want to nominate an executor who lives hundreds of miles away from you.
If you do not know anyone who has all of the above qualities, you could potentially use a professional entity such as a trust company.
Free Estate Administration Report
To learn more about estate administration, download our in-depth report. This special report is being offered free of charge at the present time, and you can access your copy right here on this website.
Click this link to obtain access: Estate Administration Report.
Schedule a Consultation
If you would like to discuss your estate plan with a licensed professional, send us a message through our contact page to set up a free consultation: Southampton PA Estate Planning Attorneys.