Your estate plan ensures your heirs receive your assets in the manner you see fit. Along with selecting heirs and creating a plan for the distribution of assets, you must also choose an executor to oversee the process.
As illustrated by CNBC, executors have numerous responsibilities. That means your selection must possess certain inherent qualities, which will allow them to best represent your interests after you are gone.
What do executors do on your behalf?
Your executor must locate and document all of your assets. This is often challenging when you own property in other states, which means you have assets scattered throughout. The person must send your death notice to creditors and other entities. They must also pay the outstanding debt using the funds from your estate. Along with debt owed to creditors, the executor must also pay off any outstanding taxes.
After paying debts, the next step is distributing assets to your heirs as explained in your will. The entire process can take from 11 months up to 3 or more years, depending on the size of your estate and the number of assets in your possession at the time of your death.
What qualities should you look for when making a choice?
Because they have so many responsibilities, your executor must be very organized and proactive. You must also trust the person to make smart decisions when it comes to financial matters. They must have the time to devote to the estate planning process, and they must also balance their own personal needs with the needs of your estate.
Even if you are completely satisfied with your selection, review your estate plan every three years or so to ensure it continues to meet your needs. You should also check in with the executor you choose to ensure they are still up for the task.