When you can no longer make or carry out your own decisions, who will do those things on your behalf? During the estate planning process, one of your most important considerations is choosing the executor of your estate. The first step when starting to plan your estate should be consulting with an experienced attorney. Once you have met with a qualified lawyer, you can work with them to get the affairs of your estate in order, and they can advise you about choosing an executor.
The executor of your will is the person who, upon your death, manages every part of your estate. Their responsibilities include: accounting for all your assets and liabilities, working with the courts to have your will processed and filing all of the taxes associated with your estate.
Because the job of being an estate executor is complex and difficult, it’s important that you choose someone you can trust and ensure that they’re willing to take on the responsibility of seeing your final wishes through. Here are three things to consider when determining who should be the executor of your estate.
- Consider responsibility. Possibly the most important attribute you should look for in the executor of your estate is responsibility. Estate administration is meticulous by nature, and when it comes to estate execution, the devil is oftentimes in the details. Executors are responsible for major tasks, such as the distribution of assets to their beneficiaries as well as minor details, like cancelling credit cards. These tasks can sometimes take more than a year to complete. Be sure to only consider individuals who are responsible enough to diligently and successfully navigate the complex and lengthy execution process.
- Consider choosing a trusted non-family member. You might feel compelled to name a family member as the executor of your estate, but this may not be the wisest decision. There are certainly many members of your family that you would trust to do the job, but that doesn’t mean they would be up for it. Families working through the grieving process are often too emotionally compromised to handle the intensity of estate execution. It may not be fair to ask a family member to deal with the pain of your loss while also navigating the family friction that estate execution can sometimes cause.
- Consider choosing someone with expert knowledge. Upon your death, your estate executor will be responsible for filing your income taxes, paying any outstanding bills and filing probate papers with the court, along with a host of other tasks. These duties are complicated and require a working knowledge of the legal system and the tax system. To make sure that all the complex details of your estate are carried out, and all due diligence is given to your estate’s legal requirements, you should choose an executor with as much experience and knowledge in these areas as possible.
Choosing an executor who is able to make and carry out decisions on your behalf and who can fulfill all due diligence in the processing of your estate is a major milestone in your estate planning. It is undeniably difficult to have discussions in regards to end-of-life matters, but tackling the issue directly is the easiest way to alleviate the stress of it. Once your estate matters have been carefully planned out with the assistance of a trusted, experienced estate planning attorney, you will find comfort in knowing that your wishes will be competently and completely carried out.
If you are a resident of Brownstown, Indianapolis, Seymour, Bloomington, Columbus, Jeffersonville or any other city or town near Jackson County, Indiana and are in search of a qualified and trusted estate executor, you can turn to Miller Law. Zach Miller is an experienced, knowledgeable and compassionate estate planning attorney, ready to help you make these important decisions and increase your peace of mind.
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