Naming an executor for the wrong reasons will bring headaches and heartaches to those you leave behind.
It is time for you to select the executor of your estate.
Perhaps you have an individual in mind?
A recent article in Insurance News, titled “The Wrong Executor Can Destroy Even the Best Estate Planning,” addresses aspects of the executor role for you to consider before including a name in your estate plan.
This job is not for the faint of heart. Their duties are extensive.
The decedent must gather all of your assets. To do this, they must review your records and go through your home and your belongings. The task also involves reaching out to your employer, insurance companies, banks and brokerage houses.
When the assets have been identified, they must be protected and valued.
In addition to working with the court to probate your will and distribute your assets, the executor must maintain any business dealings in motion before your death.
Finally, they must wind up your final affairs (e.g., pay your creditors and file your tax returns).
Sound like a lot of work?
It is, but it will be much easier if you commit to organization.
Securing the help of an experienced estate planning attorney may also benefit an executor.
An executor has relational responsibilities.
The best way to avoid tension is for the executor to communicate with your family, friends, heirs and loved ones.
He or she should tell them what is being done and why.
One important potential source of discord involves family heirlooms.
An executor may have more freedom within the will regarding how these are to be distributed.
To keep peace and avoid heartache, the executor should speak with all beneficiaries before distributing these items. It would be terrible to give something to someone who valued it less than another.
Your loved ones may also be upset by how long the process takes, especially if the executor is also a fellow beneficiary.
To assuage impatience, it would be wise for the executor to hold regular meeting to provide updates.
Now what should you do?
Choose someone who can carry out these responsibilities efficiently and effectively, then speak with this person to obtain his or her consent.
Be sure he or she fully understands what you are asking them to do.
Thank this person in advance for how they will be helping you in the future, as you will not be around to thank them when that time comes.
Remember: “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” When making your financial, tax and estate plans, do not go it alone. Be sure to engage competent professional counsel.
For more information about estate planning in Overland Park, KS (and throughout the rest of Kansas and Missouri), visit our estate planning website and be sure to subscribe to our complimentary estate planning e-newsletter while you are there.
Reference: Insurance News (June 2016) “The Wrong Executor Can Destroy Even the Best Estate Planning”