One of the issues you’ll have to consider when you’re preparing your will is whether or not you should choose someone to act as your executor of estate.
Who to Choose to Act as Executor of Estate
Most lawyers agree that it’s a very good idea to have an executor and will be happy to discuss your various options and help you select the best person for the job. The ideal person for the role is:
- Someone you’ve always considered trustworthy
- Someone who is calm, even in stressful situations
- Someone who won’t mind the responsibility of handling your estate
If your estate is fairly simple, you will probably be able to choose someone from your pool of loved ones to serve as the executor of estate, but if you have a complex estate, it’s generally a good idea to choose a company or professional who deals in such matters.
What is the Role of an Executor of Estate?
It’s not fair for someone to find that they’ve been named executor of your estate after you’ve passed on. As the executor of the estate, the individual will be expected to:
- Make sure estate taxes are paid
- Account for all the assets and make sure they’re passed on to the right people or organizations
- Contact all beneficiaries
- Contact creditors
- Liquidating assets
- And more
You should set aside a time to sit down with the individual as ask if they are willing to perform this important function. If they are, discuss the estate with them and how you would like to have your assets divided up. The more open you are about the situation while you’re alive, the more smoothly the eventual probate process will be.
Strictly speaking, the executor of estate doesn’t have to hire an estate lawyer, but it’s always a good idea to do so. Most people only have the vaguest idea of how the probate process works and it’s easy for them to make a small mistake that has huge and expensive ramifications. Most people find that the process goes the smoothest when they hire the same estate lawyer that helped draft the will to also help execute it.
There have been many times when the estate attorney was invaluable to the executor of the estate, including:
- When a person passed away while they were in the middle of a lawsuit
- When a lawsuit was filed against the estate
- When a beneficiary contested the validity of the will or the integrity of the executor of estate
In a perfect world, the executor of the estate will be able to handle to aftermath of a loved ones passing without the assistance of a New York City estate lawyer, but the world is far from perfect and the attorney is always a good idea to have in case things don’t go as planned.
If you find yourself acting as a New York executor of estate, you should contact an estate attorney right away. Many people choose to do this shortly after they have been name executor so that they know how to proceed when their loved one passes away.
At Pulvers-Thompson we offer complete legal services related to wills, estates, and probate. Contact us today for assistance in setting up your will and appointing an executor for your estate.