Choosing an Executor for Your EstateNovember 29, 2022
When dealing with wills, estates, and the wishes of the deceased, the role of the executor is highly important. An executor is responsible for ensuring that your will is executed according to your wishes and may need to make decisions on your behalf. While the right executor can ensure that your estate is distributed with care and diligence, the wrong executor can make an already stressful process more difficult and contentious. When choosing an executor for your estate, there are several factors to consider before making a final decision. That is why the estate planning and wills experts at Sidhu & Associates have provided some information on these factors to help you make an informed decision for your estate.
What is an Executor?
An executor is an individual who is responsible for protecting and administering your estate after your passing. After paying off your debts and sorting out your finances, they will then distribute the rest of your estate according to the instructions within your will. The key duties of an executor require a significant amount of time and effort. Executor duties include, but are not limited to:
- Managing the assets and property of the testator until they are distributed to the beneficiaries named in the will.
- Paying the debts, taxes, and other ongoing expenses of the deceased, including funeral fees.
- Supervising the distribution of the testator’s estate as outlined in the will.
- Validating the will in probate court (if required).
In some instances, an executor may need to make decisions on behalf of the deceased. Executors must act impartially to ensure that all beneficiaries receive what is owed to them. It is important to note that an executor must be named in your will. If one is not named, a family member will need to apply to perform this role. It may also be worth naming a second or backup executor as this will ensure that the process can proceed smoothly even if your first choice is unavailable.
Who Should be Chosen as an Executor?
The most common choices for an executor are family members that are close to the testator. These family members include children, grandchildren, siblings, and parents. Close friends can also be a viable choice in some situations. Regardless of your relationship with this individual, your executor should be someone who:
- You can trust to manage your affairs effectively, accurately, and efficiently.
- Understands the dynamic of your family and how to deal with difficult situations that may arise.
- Is responsible with finances and can be trusted with making decisions on your behalf.
- Has the capability of handling the responsibilities associated with being an executor.
- Is likely to survive you.
Choosing an individual with these qualities can ensure a smooth estate distribution process for all parties involved.
To learn more about wills, estates, and personal planning, get in touch with the experts at Sidhu & Associates. We can be reached through our online contact form and will be happy to answer any questions you may have.