Assigning someone as the executor of your estate can be rather difficult as the tasks they may be required to carry out might be complex, time-consuming, and may require some serious thought. To be clear, an executor is someone who is chosen by an individual to carry out the terms stipulated in their will. And your will is an essential part of your estate plan.
Now, some of the responsibilities of an executor may be to:
- Collect the assets of the estate.
- Protect the estate property.
- Prepare an inventory of the property.
- Pay valid claims against the state. This sometimes includes taxes.
- Represent the state in claims against others.
- Distribute the estate property to the beneficiaries.
As you can see, the role of an executor is a big one which is why you not only want to choose someone who you trust to take on the job, but also someone who is financially responsible and stable. So, how do you choose someone to assign this role to? Well, the American Bar Association says you have a few ways of handling this and we are sharing this information with you below:
- You can hire someone to be your executor. One approach you can take is appointing someone with no potential conflict of interest. That means someone “who doesn’t stand to gain from the will” such as family members or business partners. The American Bar Association says this will help “avoid will contests from disgruntled relatives who might accuse the executor of cheating.” As you know, when a person passes on and leaves behind a significant amount of assets, relatives sometimes become uneasy when another relative is responsible for passing down their portion of the estate. The source also says that “the larger the estate, the more the potential for conflicts and the more you should consider naming an outside executor.”
If you aren’t sure who would be suitable to hire, speak with a Baltimore, MD estate planning attorney who can provide you with the necessary information you are seeking.
- Assign someone close to you as your executor. Now, if you don’t have much to pass down or feel there is little room for conflict to arise, you can choose someone close to you as your executor instead of hiring an estate planning or probate lawyer to do the job. This might be a friend, relative, or even your spouse. The American Bar Association suggests that if your assets amount to less than half a million dollars, you might want to assign your spouse or a mature child with the role of being the executor.
A Baltimore estate planning attorney can document in your will who you have chosen as your executor and also provide you with some advice on whether this person might be the most suitable to handle the job.
Something else you should be aware of is that you can also assign co-executors. For instance, if you own a small business, you may want both your business partner and a family member to serve as executors. You might list your partner as the executor and a relative as the co-executor while delineating who is responsible for what. You can also do the same if you have more than one child and want all of them to have a say in how the terms of your will are carried out. You would name all your children as co-executors which is a good idea especially if the main beneficiary lives in another state.
After you have chosen who you would like to assign as your executor, don’t forget to have an estate planning lawyer properly document this in your will. If you haven’t yet hired an attorney or are still in search for someone who is highly qualified and experienced, then consider allowing USAttorneys.com to help you find a law firm in Baltimore, MD that specializes in estate planning assist you.