One of the most important aspects of estate planning is appointing an executor. This person will be responsible for ensuring that your estate is handled according to your wishes after you die and making sure there’re no estate disputes down the line.
Who is an executor?
When you die, your estate has to be passed on to your beneficiaries. But before that can happen, your estate must go through probate, which is the legal process of validating your will and distributing your assets. An executor is a person who gets to oversee this process on behalf of your estate.
What are the main duties of an executor?
One of the most important duties of an executor in estate planning is to file the necessary paperwork with the court. This includes your will, death certificate, and a list of your assets and debts. The executor is also responsible for collecting any money that’s owed to your estate and paying any outstanding debts.
In addition, they have to handle any estate tax matters. For instance, if your estate is typically valued over a certain amount, the executor will have to file a federal estate tax return.
Later on, the executor has to notify your beneficiaries of their inheritance and distribute the assets according to your will. If there’s no will, then the estate could get distributed according to state law.
The executor also has to keep track of all the estate’s expenses and income and file regular reports with the court. And if there are any estate disputes, it’s up to the executor to resolve them.
As you can see, the executor has a lot of responsibility. That’s why it’s so important to choose someone you trust to handle your estate. It’s also a good idea to appoint an alternate executor in case the first person can’t or doesn’t want to do it.