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Choosing the Right Executor of Your Will

Posted on in Estate Planning

Lombard estate planning lawyersOne of the most important steps of creating a last will and testament is choosing the personal representative—or executor—who will oversee and manage your estate after you pass away. This individual will have several important responsibilities, so it is important that you choose someone who is competent and able to handle the job. There is no perfect way to choose the right executor, but there are some guidelines you should keep in mind as you create your estate plan.  

Responsibilities of the Executor

The legal representative named as the executor of a will has several duties. Firstly, he or she must estimate the value of the deceased person’s (testator’s) estate. A list of property and assets including bank accounts, retirement accounts, real estate property, fine art or expensive jewelry, stocks and bonds, and other items must be drafted and assessed during probate. Additionally, the executor must pay the deceased person’s taxes and debt as well as file a personal income tax return on their behalf. He or she will also have to pay estate taxes and distribute the testator’s remaining property to beneficiaries as per the directions stated in the will.

Considerations as You Choose Your Personal Representative

There is a considerable burden of responsibility which comes with being the executor of a will. Your most important consideration when choosing an executor is whether or not that person is capable of completing the tasks assigned to them. One way to determine if a person is a good fit to be the executor of your will is to take a look at their finances. Does he or she struggle to pay bills on time or meet other deadlines? In many Illinois probate courts, a type of special insurance called a “probate bond” is required. Individuals with many debts, liens against them, no credit history or poor credit, and those who have declared bankruptcy may have trouble getting the required probate bond.

When building your will and other estate plans, you also want to consider the personality of potential executors. Administering an estate is a long and complicated process. You should aim to appoint someone patient and emotionally stable who can endure the probate process without too much distress. It is also important to note that the executor of your will is not required to be a family member. You can choose someone unrelated to you or even someone you do not know that well personally. Some individuals name a bank, attorney, accountant, or other professional as the executor of their will.

Trust the Professionals at A. Traub & Associates

Contact A. Traub & Associates to speak with our experienced Lombard probate and estate administration attorneys. Call 630-426-0196 to schedule a confidential consultation today.

 

Sources:

https://www.investopedia.com/terms/e/executor.asp

https://www.kiplinger.com/article/retirement/T021-C032-S014-7-tips-for-choosing-the-right-executor.html

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