While it is important to disclose the names of beneficiaries in your will, it is also important to disclose the name of your executor. This may be more difficult to assign, as you are asking an individual to take on a lot of responsibility. Continue reading to learn what responsibilities an executor must uphold and how an experienced Putnam County estate planning attorney at The Law Office of Andres D. Gil, PLLC can guide you in the right direction.
What responsibilities must an executor uphold?
Generally speaking, an executor is responsible for overseeing the distribution of your assets to your beneficiaries and overall guaranteeing that your final wishes are met. More specifically, an executor may be tasked with the following:
- An executor must manage all your assets until they are properly distributed.
- An executor must file your will in a New York Surrogate’s Court.
- An executor must notify certain agencies about your passing (i.e., the Social Security Administration, the post office, your bank, etc).
- An executor must pay off the last of your debts and taxes via estate funds.
- An executor must pay off your other continuing expenses via estate funds.
- An executor must sell your real estate and other personal property left undesignated in your will.
How do I determine who is the best executor for my estate?
It cannot be emphasized enough that becoming an executor is a great undertaking. So, the bottom line is that your executor should be someone you trust. To determine whether you can trust your prospective executor, you may want to ask yourself the following questions:
- Do I believe my prospective executor to be someone who is old enough to distribute my estate?
- Do I believe my prospective executor to be someone who has the physical and mental capacity to distribute my estate?
- Do I believe my prospective executor to be someone who handles their personal finances diligently?
- Do I believe my prospective executor to be someone who gets along with my designated beneficiaries?
Lastly, it may be best to have a conversation with your prospective executor before you officially appoint them in your will. This is so you can ensure that they will not be caught off guard, but rather they will rise to the occasion when the time comes. And as further backup, you may want to assign a successor executor in your will. This is in case your original executor changes their mind, turns out to be irresponsible, becomes incapacitated, or otherwise.
As you may likely conclude yourself, there are many moving components to your estate that you must mind. So you must not hesitate in reaching out to a skilled Putnam County estate planning attorney at The Law Office of Andres D. Gil, PLLC.