It is never too early to start preparing for the future. Putting safeguards in place to protect your family in case the worst happens is a very common step for people to take. A will is not just a tool to ensure your loved ones receive an inheritance, it also gives you the power to decide exactly how your estate will be distributed at your passing. Furthermore, if allows you to designate a guardian for your children if you pass while they are still minors.
Part of creating a will is choosing the right executor. While an experienced estate planning attorney in the Scottsdale area can help you with the process, it is still up to you to choose someone to administer your estate. Read further for tips on selecting an executor that you can trust to see to your final wishes.
Duties of the executor
An executor is an individual named by you, or court appointed, that has the legal responsibility to take care of any financial obligations connected to your estate. Duties typically include distributing the assets according to your wishes, maintaining property while the estate is settled, and paying any expenses or taxes on the estate's behalf. The executor may also have to make occasional court appearances as the estate's representative.
Common choices to act as executor
In general, you can choose almost anyone you want to act as your executor. The most common choices are usually spouses, children and siblings. The most important things to consider when choosing an executor is that you should trust the person to be honest, organized and have the ability to communicate effectively. If the estate is not organized and managed properly, it can quick become chaos during the distribution process.
It is not uncommon for people to step down from the executor position, especially once they fully realize how complicated and difficult the position can be. This is why it is a good idea to name an alternative executor. If you have not named an alternative executor and your primary choice steps down, the court will choose for you.
As mentioned above, you can generally choose whoever you want to act as executor of your will. However, there are certain exceptions. For example, children under 18 years old cannot act as executors. Felons are also barred from assuming the responsibility. Some states have certain limitations or additional requirements for executors that live out-of-state.
Creating a will can be one of the most important things you do for your family. No matter where you are in your life-plan, it is never too early to start preparing for your family's future.