What is an Executor?
An executor is an individual who carries out the instructions in the Will a deceased person leaves. The duties and responsibilities of an executor are complex – even if the Will gives explicit written instructions. An Executor must follow the right procedures. This can take several months, depending on the property or assets to be distributed and complexity of issues involved in the administration of the estate.
Why do you Need an Executor?
You will need an executor, as well as a competent probate lawyer to ensure all your wishes are fulfilled. An example of one of many decisions an Executor may be called upon to make is to decide what property to sell off in order to generate cash to pay debts, costs of administration, and make distributions to beneficiaries. Additionally, the executor is required to ensure any Capital Gains Taxes, Income Taxes and Inheritance taxes are filed and paid.
When one is having his or her estate plan finalized, then it is the right time to choose an executor after discussing the details with a skilled probate lawyer. Now that you can see some of the responsibilities of an executor, you should focus on choosing the right person to carry out these responsibilities.
Who can be an Executor?
By law, anyone 18 or older can act as an executor for your will. You can choose your beneficiary(s) to be your executor as well. Most people prefer to choose their children, or spouse to be the will executor. To be on the safe side, it is advisable to also choose a back-up executor. In the will, you should be clear regarding instructions you give, and the executor should be aware of every decision you would want him/her to take. The best way to choose the right executor is to discuss this with an experienced probate lawyer.
You have an option to hire a professional executor, however, they charge hefty fees in return for their services. However, a professional executor (such as a bank trust company) may be the best choice if the estate will be complicated or there is no suitable family member who can be appointed to serve.
If you wish to get further information regarding choosing an executor, or you seek information on estate planning, avoiding probate, or trusts, contact the offices of John Grundy at 330-637-9030 to schedule a free consultation session with an experienced probate lawyer.