Tasks of the executor

Most Wills appoint an Executor to represent the testator’s wishes. The executor’s function is to manage the estate from its inception to the final distribution of assets to its heirs. The executor administers the estate, settles debts, distributes legacies, presents property division options to the heirs, and winds down the estate. In addition, the executor manages the sale of assets, supervises the estate’s accountant, maintains communication with and between family members, mediates disputes when dividing personal effects, placates impatient beneficiaries, and, wherever possible, averts family blowups and litigation. An executor’s tasks are time-consuming, challenging and seemingly endless. They are also thankless.

Who to choose

Who should you pick as executor? Choose an experienced, neutral, stable, and trustworthy person – someone who can work even-handedly and even-headedly with your heirs, handle the job and its unpleasantries without resentment, and make the process proceed swiftly. Be frank with yourself. Think about the decades of accumulated belongings in your abode, your myriad far-flung financial assets, and the complexity of your final year’s taxes. Reflect on the complexities of your estate. Of your family.

Winding down an estate is a tedious job that can easily take a year. Do not regard it is as an honor for a family member or friend. Family members are often handicapped by grief. They are still riding the emotional roller coaster. Except in rare instances, heirs lack the time and inclination to complete all the necessary tasks. Or to do so knowledgeably and conscientiously.

Why considering your attorney as executor?

Why should you consider your attorney as executor of your will? Naming your lawyer as your executor improves the odds that every aspect of winding down your estate will be swiftly, competently and satisfactorily fulfilled – lifting a huge burden off your survivors. Executors are entitled to a fee. It is generally less expensive for an estate’s executor to be the testator’s lawyer than a family member who must then hire others for assistance. First, the testator’s lawyer is already familiar with the estate’s complexities and has, in many instances, a solid grasp of family dynamics. Second, vesting an attorney with executory authority reduces suspicion among family members that the executor has taken or will take sides. The business of unwinding your estate will be conducted competently and expeditiously.

Omission of an executor

There is no formal requirement to name an executor in your will, but omitting one can spell disaster if the testator lives alone, has estranged heirs, has heirs that don’t get along, appoints a foundation as an heir, or presides over a large or complicated estate.

Do you have questions about executorship? I would be pleased to serve as your estate’s executor or to advise whomever you appoint. Please contact me, so that you can make the best decisions for yourself and your loved ones.