When you appoint an executor to your estate, you are giving them an important responsibility. It’s wise to think about who would be a good fit for this role before you make your final decision. Then a Rockland County estate planning attorney from our firm can make it easy to appoint your executor while you draw up your will and other important estate plan documents.

When Do I Appoint an Executor?

You can appoint your executor when you make your will. During this process, you can name the executor and give them the responsibility of handling your estate once you pass away. If you do not pick your own executor during this process, the probate court might pick one for you once you have passed. This is not ideal though, and you should really have an estate plan in place so that your family does not have to deal with the probate process.

Do I Need an Attorney?

You are not required to have a lawyer when setting up a will, but this is an important legal document. You need to follow certain rules to make sure that it is binding in New York State. Violate any of these rules and your will is useless.

So let an attorney make your will for you. Then let us take a closer look at your estate to see if any other popular estate planning tools, like trusts, are a good fit for you and your beneficiaries.

What Are Good Qualities for an Executor?

There are few specific rules about who can be an executor. In general, New York Courts are going to be fine as long as you pick someone who is of sound mind and 18 years old or older. They also cannot have any felonies on their record. So pick someone who you think will be able to handle the job, and make sure that you talk to them about it first. It’s only fair to let them know what kind of responsibilities will be bestowed upon them.

What Will My Executor Have to Do?

When you pass away, your executor will be responsible for settling the final affairs of you and your estate. This means that they will have to pay off any creditors, make sure that your assets get passed down to the right beneficiaries, and handle tasks like telling the Social Security Administration to stop payments. If you have a house and a mortgage, they can decide whether to pay off the home or sell it.

This is a big responsibility. You want to make sure that someone has time to take care of all of these tasks for you. If none of your family members seem like a good fit for the executor role, you can look into using a bank or lawyer.

Talk to an Estate Planning Lawyer

If you are ready to make an estate plan of your own, make sure that nothing important gets left out. Contact the Lauterbach Law Firm and get ready to make a comprehensive estate plan that covers everything, including who gets chosen as your executor.