One mistake many people make is assuming they need to be wealthy to have a will. Anyone who owns any assets should set up a will, as this can help ensure your estate is distributed according to your wishes. However, one of the most essential steps in estate planning is choosing someone to serve as the executor of your will. If you need assistance, a Rockland County will attorney can help ensure your estate plan is up to par. They can also provide guidance to your executor after you pass.

What Does an Executor Do?

As previously mentioned, your executor assumes one of the most crucial roles in the estate planning process. After you pass, your estate is left in the hands of your executor to manage and distribute. There are many tasks they must complete to finalize your final wishes.

Some of the responsibilities of an executor include:

  • Collecting a death certificate
  • Paying taxes and debts from the estate
  • Filing the will for probate
  • Managing the estate until it is distributed
  • Overseeing the distribution of assets and properties to the beneficiaries

How Should I Choose?

Choosing an executor is no easy task, as you’ll need to ensure the person you want to name is responsible and trustworthy, as there are so many duties they will need to handle.

Many people choose a close friend or family member to execute their will. However, this can lead to drama and tension. For example, if you name one of your children to be the will executor, their siblings may feel slighted by the implication they are not responsible enough to handle the job. This can lead to a drawn-out, contested will process.

Another option is to select a financial institution or bank to be the executor. This helps avoid family tension and ensures your estate is handled with as little family drama as possible. However, many institutions that act as executors do take a larger portion of the estate as compensation for assuming the job.

Do I Need a Lawyer?

If you’re drafting your will, assuring you have a lawyer around to help is crucial. They can help confirm the terms of your estate plan are legally valid, as this helps avoid issues in the future.

Similarly, your attorney can help your executor with any issues they may face during the distribution process. For example, they can help handle the probate process, easing the stress an executor may face while executing a will.

It’s never too early to begin planning your estate. If you’re ready to secure peace of mind that your estate will be distributed according to your wishes, you’ll want to reach out to The Lauterbach Law Firm. We can help you navigate the process to ensure your estate is in good hands.