You already know the importance of an estate plan, but you may not know the importance of selecting the right executor. The executor is the individual who manages your estate’s affairs, distributes your assets and represents your estate. If you select the right person for the job, your heirs receive their inheritances on time and accurately. The wrong one, however, could result in courtroom battles, long delays, tax issues and will contests.
Your Executor’s Duties
Your executor takes on a hefty task. He must locate and inventory your assets, report them to the court and verify they match what is listed in your estate plan. He must locate beneficiaries, notify them of their inheritances and distribute inheritances according to your wishes. He must also be financially savvy and organized, since he has numerous documents to file with the court, Internal Revenue Service and other government agencies. Your executor is also responsible for paying creditors per your instruction.
In short, he is the manager of your entire estate and all related assets.
Who Should You Choose?
Most people select a family member or close friend to play the role of executor. Although this individual knows you well, he may not be organized or financially capable of handling all of the executor’s duties. Consider having a professional handle your estate, distribute assets and manage taxes. Your estate planning professional can help you select the right executor for your estate and ensure the person you choose is intelligent, reliable and accurate.