An executor is someone you name in your will to be in charge of carrying out the will. This is no small task.
The duties of an executor includes determining all heirs and next of kin, notifying them, preserving all assets named in the will, collecting all debts due to the deceased, dealing with any pending lawsuits, taking care of taxes, paying creditors, transferring property to beneficiaries, distributing assets, and more.
The court will not compel anyone to do this job. So you want to make sure that you have a very detailed conversation with the person you prefer to handle your estate and make sure they are up to the task.
If the individual you have named in your will refused to accept their role as executor, typically the surviving spouse would be called up to take their place. If they refuse, the next heir would be asked to act. Once the court has gone through everyone who is listed in the will, then the court will eventually accept any qualified person to serve.
When it comes to estate planning, you can’t be too prepared or too clear. Double check all your beneficiaries and designations after any major life event like births, deaths, marriages and divorces, and make sure everyone involved in your will and trusts is aware of their role. Since these documents are fluid and do change throughout the course of your life, it’s important to have a qualified estate-planning attorney involved in the maintenance of your will.
Over the past 32 years, the Law Offices of Christopher A. Benson has helped more than 800 clients prepare and utilize simple and effective planning techniques to protect them and their families in order to avoid probate, save estate taxes, save money and save added emotional burden that comes from long term illness and/or death of a family member. Give us a call to schedule a free consultation to find out how we can help you and your family.