Planning your estate can be a complex and overwhelming process, as there are many important considerations you must make. Aside from deciding who you want to name as beneficiaries, what you want to go to charity, and who should assume guardianship of your children, you’ll also need to appoint an estate executor. This is an important position, so understanding how to choose who should be assigned to this role is necessary. Keep reading to learn what you should consider and discover how a Washtenaw County estate planning attorney can help you navigate this complex process.
What Does an Estate Executor Do?
To understand who should fulfill the role of an executor, it’s vital to understand what the responsibilities of this person are.
Generally, the executor is the entity that will maintain and distribute the will. However, they are also responsible for filing taxes on behalf of the state, informing the deceased’s financial institutions, representing the departed in court, and overseeing the probate process.
What Qualities Should I Consider?
If you’re planning your estate and need to appoint an executor, the most important thing you need to know is that the executor must be eligible to serve. This means the person you name must be a legal adult and mentally capable. Essentially, as long as someone is over 18 and does not have dementia or a diminished capacity, they can assume the role. If you appoint someone ineligible to serve, the court will deem them unfit and name an executor on their own.
You’ll also want to ensure the person you name is responsible enough to handle the duties of an executor. This position comes with a considerable amount of responsibility and, as such, you’ll need to ensure the person can handle completing the necessary tasks and ensuring deadlines are met.
Finally, you’ll need to consider the honesty and integrity of the person. Unfortunately, there are many substantial financial matters to keep in mind. Your estate has many assets, and if someone with a history of fraud, embezzlement, and other dishonest activity chooses to take advantage of the opportunity, your inheritors may not get the assets you wish to leave them.
I’ve Made a Choice. Now What?
Once you decide who you would like your executor to be, you should discuss your wishes with them. This is important, as it allows you to discuss the details of what would the role’s expectations and duties.
After discussing this, you’ll want to contact an experienced attorney as soon as possible to begin creating your estate plan. This ensures that your will is legally binding, as an attorney can guarantee the will is valid.
If you need assistance, Collis, Griffor & Hendra is ready to help. Our dedicated team will help you craft a document to ensure you have peace of mind knowing your estate is protected. Contact us today to learn more.