When planning your estate, you’ll need to make a number of challenging considerations. From thinking about who you want to receive certain assets to naming a guardian for your minor children, this can be a complicated issue. However, many forget to consider who they want to serve as their estate executor. This is an important responsibility, so understanding what qualities you should look for is crucial. Keep reading to learn more about how to decide and a Nassau County estate planning lawyer can help.
What Does an Estate Executor Do?
It’s important to know what this role consists of to understand why taking the time to carefully consider your options is so vital. An executor has many duties and responsibilities including, but not limited to, the following:
- Filing the will in court
- Representing the estate in court
- Navigating the probate process
- Maintaining the property until it is distributed
- Paying taxes
- Distributing assets according to the instructions in the will
What Qualities Should I Consider?
Because the executor of an estate is an important legal role, the most vital thing you must consider when making a decision is that the person must be qualified to assume the role. This means they must be a legal adult and have the mental capacity to do so. If the courts find your choice to be too young or mentally incapable, they will appoint a different executor.
Next, you’ll need to choose someone responsible. There are many important tasks an estate executor must complete on your behalf, and they must be done with the utmost care and in a timely manner. As such, choosing someone responsible and trustworthy can help provide peace of mind that your estate is in good hands.
Finally, you’ll want to choose someone honest to ensure your intended heirs get the assets you wish to leave them. You should not pick someone with a history of fraud, embezzlement, theft, or other dishonest activities.
When I’ve Made a Decision, What Do I Do Next?
Once you’ve decided who you’d like to appoint as your executor, you should have a conversation with the person. Be sure to inform them of their responsibilities so they can better understand what the role would involve. You should also consider choosing an alternate in case your named executor is unable to fulfill the duties upon your passing.
Finally, you’ll want to contact an experienced estate planning attorney to help you establish a legally binding will. Unfortunately, trying to do this on your own can leave your estate susceptible to being deemed invalid, which means it would be distributed according to the state’s laws as opposed to your wishes.
At Barrows Levy, we understand how important planning for the future is. As such, we will do everything possible to help make the estate planning process as simple as possible for you. Contact us today to get started and achieve peace of mind for your future.