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Estate planning: Why your choice of executor matters

On Behalf of | Dec 29, 2022 | Estate Planning and Probate |

When creating an estate plan, you need to appoint someone who will ensure your final wishes are executed. It is a crucial decision that needs to be carefully considered.

The person you select for the role is referred to as an executor or personal representative. They will be in charge of your estate during probate, which is the court-controlled process of administering your estate when you are gone.

The duties of an executor

Some of the responsibilities of an executor include the following:

  • Consolidating the estate assets
  • Conducting appraisals
  • Clearing any outstanding claims to the estate
  • Filing income tax returns on behalf of the estate
  • Distributing estate assets to the beneficiaries

The role comes with a lot of responsibilities, which is why you need someone trustworthy and capable.

What are your options when choosing an executor?

Your choice of executor should not be limited to your loved ones or other beneficiaries. Should you not have a worthy candidate or there is a possibility of a conflict of interests, you may look elsewhere. You may actually be better off choosing a professional executor instead of taking your chances with someone you do not have confidence in.

It is also possible to name more than one executor, just in case something happens to your initial choice. However, be sure to specify the working relationships of the co-executors to avoid confusion when the time comes.

You can remove an executor

If you decide to change your executor in the future, you can do so. All you have to do is make the necessary adjustments in your will. Your choice of executor should be among the things you may want to revisit whenever you update your estate plan, given their crucial role in carrying out your final wishes.