Ensuring you plan your estate is crucial to obtaining peace of mind that your wishes will be granted after your passing. One of the most challenging steps is deciding who the executor of your will should be, as they hold a significant amount of responsibilities. If you want to learn more about what an executor does and how to choose one, keep reading. You’ll also learn why you should contact a Washtenaw County wills attorney to discover how a legal professional can assist in creating your final testament.
What Are the Responsibilities of an Executor?
The executor of a will is one of the most vital entities in the will planning process. An executor is a chosen individual or institution responsible for overseeing and guaranteeing the distribution of a will according to the creator’s wishes.
An executor is also responsible for taking care of any paperwork, like obtaining death certificates for the deceased and filing paperwork for probate. They must also reach out to the estate’s beneficiaries to inform them of the assets they will receive.
It is pivotal that the executor acts in accordance with the law and in good faith when overseeing and managing the estate of a deceased individual.
Who Can Serve as an Executor?
You can appoint almost anyone to execute a will, provided they are not under 18 years old (21 in certain states), a convicted felon, or a non-U.S. resident.
In some states, there are restrictions surrounding choosing an administrator who lives in a different location. Though you are allowed to appoint someone across state lines, there are specific circumstances you must follow, like naming a co-executor or that the nonresident executor must select an in-county agent to collect legal documents. However, Michigan does not have restrictions surrounding out-of-state executors, meaning you can choose anyone.
How Should I Choose One?
When choosing an executor for your will, ensuring you select someone responsible and competent is crucial. This role comes with significant responsibilities, so appointing a trustworthy and organized individual is paramount.
You will also need to consider family dynamics if you choose a relative to assume the role. For example, if you name one child, their siblings may be upset they weren’t chosen. This could lead to a contested will and a lengthy court battle.
If you want to avoid unnecessary drama, you can also appoint a financial institution to serve in the role. Choosing an unbiased third party is a great choice, as it helps avoid family tension. However, they will typically require a higher fee for executing the will than a family member would receive from your estate.
When you’re ready to plan your will, ensuring a professional attorney is there to guide you through the process is essential. Reach out to Collis, Griffor & Hendra today to set up a meeting with our experienced legal team to ensure your final wishes are carried out.