How to Choose Your Executor

Getting long island estate planning is the first step in creating long-term peace of mind. An estate plan ensures your assets are distributed how you would like them to be in the event of your passing. However, no matter how precise your estate plan may be, if you don’t choose the right person to carry out your wishes, all of your planning can be for naught.

Choosing an executor can be hard. The individual has to be someone that you trust implicitly, yet also must be able to handle filing paperwork in a timely manner, as well as effectively deal with any volatility that may occur amongst loved ones. Estate attorney long island knows the proper way to handle all this overwhelming paperwork. Give them a call today.

So, how do you go about finding the right person to serve as your executor? Here are some suggestions that can help you make the best choice.

Executor Defined

First things first: What is an executor?

The executor is the individual you appoint in your will to manage your estate. This person handles outstanding debts, collects assets, deals with any probate issues, and distributes your estate as per the provisions that you have set forth in your will. Essentially, the executor acts as your personal representative after you pass.

What Qualities Should an Executor Possess?

While you may be inclined to choose your first-born child or a younger sibling to serve as your executor, unless these individuals possess certain qualities, they may not be the best person for the job.

An executor should be someone that you trust implicitly. He or she should also be honest, conscientious, and should work well with others. Maturity and excellent decision making skills are also important traits that an executor should possess.

In most states, in order for a person to be named an executor, he or she must be at least 19 years of age, and must not have any felony convictions. Elder law long island isn’t as complicated to a good lawyer as you may think it actually is.

If you have a friend or family member who possesses all of these qualities, he or she would be a good candidate to consider for your executor.

If you do not know someone who has the qualities to make a competent and trustworthy executor, you might want to consider hiring a professional and experienced estate lawyer to handle the task of being your executor. Another option is to appoint a friend or loved one to act as your executor, but specify in your will that you would like him or her to hire a lawyer to assist you with certain parts of handling the affairs of your estate.

Who Can’t be Named?

Anyone who is a minor cannot be appointed as the executor of an estate/ So, while you might like to name your youngest son as your executor, if he is not of legal adult age (19 in most states,) legally, he cannot be appointed with the task of an executor.

In many states, a person who has been convicted of a felony is not permitted to serve as an executor. Also, some states require an executor to reside within your state. If you aren’t sure what laws apply to assigning an executor, consult with a reputable estate attorney.

Other Factors to Consider

When you ask someone to serve as an executor of your state, you could be asking him or her to commit months, and possibly years, to handling your affairs after you pass. Additionally, the person who holds this title will have a lot of responsibilities to uphold. With that said, you want to make sure that you are honest and upfront about the amount of work that may be involved with handling your estate, and how much time he or she might have to dedicate to completing the task.

Additionally, though it is often considered a labor of love, you might want to consider compensating your executor. Considering how much time, energy and work goes into managing an estate, compensation is a great way to say thank you. You might want to include provisions in your will that state how much you would like to compensate your executor, or include that the individual can pay him- or herself, but put a cap on the amount that the person is allowed to be paid.

Choosing the right executor is crucial to ensuring your final wishes are carried out. If you need assistance with choosing someone for this important job, or you have any questions pertaining to estate planning in general, please contact long island estate planning attorney today.