Everyone knows that it’s a smart and responsible choice to have a will, but not everyone understands the importance of selecting the right estate executor to help manage their affairs and distribute their assets upon death. Picking the right executor will mean that your loved ones will receive their rightful inheritance in a timely manner. Picking the wrong executor could lead to a load of problems including tax issues and late payments. Read further for information on choosing the right executor and what that will mean for you and your family:
The role of an executor
An estate executor is the person named in your will that will be your personal representative after your death. This person is legally responsible for carrying out your wishes outlined in the will. An executor can be one of your children or your spouse, a family friend, a professional advisor, or a trust company. You will need to weigh the pros and cons of each option to find the right person or company for the job.
Choosing an executor
An estate executor must be willing to take on that role. Nobody can be forced to do it. Your executor should be trustworthy, organized, and have the time and availability to act if called upon. You can name more than one executor in your will but in these cases, it’s best to include a decision-making mechanism in your will. You should also consider naming an alternate executor in case your primary one is unable to act. If there is no alternate, the court will decide who will be your executor. It is important to get the approval of the individual(s) you plan to name executor in your will before putting them in your will. Doing so will help with the administration of your will when the time comes.
Acting as an estate executor is not a charitable act. Every executor is entitled to fair compensation for the responsibility and time spent acting on your behalf. The compensation can be based upon the size of the estate, the time spent administering the estate, among other factors. Spouses and close family members tend to charge the least while trust companies will charge the most. The skills and expertise provided by an advisor or trust company can be well worth the extra cost, though.
If you have any questions about your will, estate planning, or naming an executor, contact a financial advisor at The Beacon Group of Assante Financial Management Ltd. today.