It’s important to pick the best possible person to be your estate executor. Many people pick heirs. However, you also want to pick the right heir. It’s not necessarily an easy process, and not everyone is cut out for it.
The first step is identifying the jobs that the executor will need to carry out. These include:
- Doing maintenance on the real estate property until everything is permanently taken care of. For instance, if your children plan to sell your home, it can take months, and someone needs to do upkeep
- Distributing all of your assets as your will directs
- Paying any taxes that are owed from the estate. This could include things like the final year’s income taxes or estate taxes themselves
- Paying any other bills that are owed. For instance, if the home was purchased on a mortgage, monthly payments may still be required.
- Going to court appearances when needed. In short, your executor is standing in for you after you have passed away
So, who you should choose? You need someone who is responsible and reliable. He or she should have a clear understanding of the estate. Perhaps the two of you want to work together in advance to prepare. This person should also be able to easily take on tasks like paying taxes, dividing investments and understanding what is needed to legally buy or sell property.
As you work through this estate planning process and try to decide exactly who you should choose, make sure you carefully consider all of the legal steps you’ll need to take.
Source: FindLaw, “Choosing the Executor FAQ,” accessed May 22, 2018