Estate Planning: The Role of the Executor

When it comes to matters of your estate and planning for the future after you are no longer here, choosing an executor is among some of the most important steps for you. The executor is the person with whom you entrust your estate to and the distribution of possessions and property to, a weighty task indeed! Be sure to contact your trusted probate lawyer as you work through the planning process of your estate for the future, as they will help you not only with the matters of your estate but also give you counsel on what to look for in your executor. While it can be truly an honor for a person to receive the responsibility of an executor, it is no easy task as it not only regards physical property, but also the people involved in the lives of stepfamily of whose property you have been entrusted to handle.

An executor is given the responsibility to ensure that the wishes of the deceased are carried out in full regarding their property and possessions. Not only will they need to make sure that it is distributed accordingly, but also that matters of debt are properly handled with all the creditors prior to distributing the specific property to the designated recipients. If you are looking to plan your estate, it is not required that your executor be one with legal expertise, however, you must be certain that they will be fully able to accomplish your designated tasks, not only in a timely manner, but also with an honest approach for your assets. A property owner is essentially making themselves and their family very vulnerable to being taken advantage of when establishing an executor, which is why the process of choosing one should not be taken lightly. Your assets and property may be what pays for your children's college fund or their children, and if your executor takes advantage of your trust, your future generations may suffer for it.

Those who have been designated as executors are not given entitlement to a portion of the estate that they are handling, nor will they receive proceeds from any part of the process. They may, however, be given a sort of compensation for their services by the family as a gift for seeing their estate process through to the end. Depending on the state in which you live, this gift is generally expected to be a fairly good portion, which is reasonably measured with the size of the estate and the complexity of the will arrangements.

Some of the responsibilities of the executor include, but are not limited to the following. First, it is their duty to make sure that the assets of the deceased are properly maintained and kept safe as the probate process gets worked through. Until they can be distributed as set out in the will, the executor will be managing the assets and deciding the best means of selling for the distribution. It is also up to the executor to determine whether or not the probate process is needed for this person's estate. In most cases, whether or not the estate goes through probate rests on the state in which the person lives, and also whether they had a will or a trust established. The executor will need to make sure that all the necessary parties are contacted regarding the money and property inheritance and that the right portions and possessions are distributed according to the wishes of the deceased.

To learn more about the process of estate planning, probate and the role of the executor, please contact a trusted probate attorney in your area!