Estate planning can be an exhausting process, between thinking about the future, compiling a list of your assets, and meeting with attorneys, creating a will is a lengthy procedure. One of the most essential decisions you’ll need to make when drafting your will is to decide who your executor will be. This person will oversee and ensure the terms of your estate plan are met according to your wishes. If you want to learn more about what an executor does and how to select one, keep reading. You’ll also discover how a Woodland Hills will attorney can help you navigate the process.
What Role Does an Executor Play?
An executor is appointed by the will’s creator, or the testator. The executor’s job is vital, as they are responsible for ensuring that all the assets left in the will are distributed to the correct parties. Similarly, they have to value the assets in the estate plan.
An executor also needs to ensure all the debts were paid from the estate funds. Similarly, they need to ensure they keep a detailed record of all the accounts and file an inventory of the assets as they are distributed.
How Should I Choose One?
When choosing the executor of your will, you’ll need to keep a few considerations in mind. The most essential requirements to keep in mind are that the executor must be at least 18 and cannot have a criminal record. In many states, there are restrictions surrounding out-of-state executors, but California does not have any additional requirements for choosing someone who lives in a different location.
Generally, the person you want to select should be responsible and competent. They will be responsible for a number of different legal tasks. You can also take additional precautions and name a successor to your primary executor, should they pass away, become incapacitated, or declines to serve.
If you’re looking to avoid unnecessary familial drama, you can name a financial institution to execute your will. Generally, these will have a higher fee than choosing a family member or friend.
When Do They Begin?
Your executor will begin their role as soon as the testator of a will passes away. Generally, your executor will also need to be approved by the court before they take on any responsibilities.
If you are named the executor of a will and the testator is still living, you have no responsibilities. However, talking with the creator of the will can help provide clarity about their wishes.
If you’re ready to create your will but aren’t sure where to start, The Law Offices of Yacoba Ann Feldman can help you draft an estate plan to provide peace of mind. Don’t wait until it’s too late to reach out.