You might have difficulty choosing an appropriate executor for your will without some guidance. An executor fulfills an important role in distributing an estate, so your choice could really matter for your heirs.
What Types of Tasks Must an Executor Do for Your Estate?
Executors do a lot of different kinds of tasks when distributing assets to heirs named in wills. For example, they might:
- Get copies of the death certificate
- Make funeral arrangements
- Locate far-flung heirs
- Arrange an estate sale
- Attend probate court hearings
- Send notices to creditors
- Identify and retain professionals such as an accountant and lawyer
These wide-ranging tasks may not be suitable for everyone. You should carefully select an executor who is responsible and timely in following directions and finishing tasks.
Your executor does not have to have financial or legal expertise, but it may help. Many people choose relatives as executors. The relatives then have to spend the estate’s money on professionals to help with taxes and other estate distribution tasks. As a result, heirs may receive less money than they would if the executor already had financial knowledge or other special skills.
Who Could You Choose as an Executor?
Again, a lot of people select a relative as an executor. Although it could be a bad idea to pick someone who directly benefits from the will if multiple people inherit, people often still pick their spouse as executor. Others select more distant relatives. Alternatively, you could choose a close friend or business partner.
Some people may opt for an estate planning lawyer or even a financial institution as an executor. The advantage of choosing a lawyer is that he or she already knows the law and understands an executor’s responsibilities. Plus the lawyer can go to court if necessary. Financial institutions have resources and experience as well, but they are costly. The money to pay the lawyer or institution comes out of the estate, so people with smaller estate may want to make a different choice. In any case, picking the right executor is important – speak to your estate planning lawyer for more help.
Want assistance choosing an executor for your estate? Local attorney Andrew Szocka, Esq. provides thorough and speedy estate planning help in the Chicagoland area. To schedule a free initial consultation, visit the Law Office of Andrew Szocka, P.C. online or call the office at (815) 455-8430.