Things to Consider Before Naming an Executor of an Estate

August 28, 2013

It may not be an easy or enjoyable task, but creating an effective estate plan is something that many people in Los Angeles find to be crucial. Estate plans are drawn up by individuals in order to name beneficiaries and distribute assets appropriately in the event of a death. By doing so, a person’s family and loved ones can be taken care of and his or her wishes can be carried out as directed by a will.

Those tasked with settling these affairs are called executors. These people have an important duty to make sure the terms of an estate plan are met and carried out properly. Assigning a person the role of executor is a big decision, and not one that should be taken lightly. There are a number of responsibilities that the representative of an estate must take on, so people should be aware of what they are asking a person to do by putting him or her in charge.

Executors are often required to complete and manage large amounts of paperwork. From a letters testamentary to a will to various tax records and property deeds, finding and managing these documents can be the most crucial steps of executing a will.

It is not uncommon for wills to be contested or to go through a lengthy probate process. Under these circumstances, it is important that an executor protects the interests of a decedent throughout these stages. It can be a very confusing and complex process, so an executor may also need to seek out the help of attorneys or accountants to get through these steps.

Finally, an executor may also be tasked with completing the terms of an estate and tying up loose ends after probate has closed. They may be required to identify and contact heirs, file tax forms and distribute the assets as assigned by a decedent.

Considering all the responsibilities that an executor must take on, the decision in assigning one should not be made lightly. For an estate plan to be effective, it should be executed by a capable, organized and competent person who understands how important and time-intensive their role can be.

Source: The Huffington Post, “Should You Become Executor of Someone’s Estate,” Jason Alderman, Aug. 21, 2013

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