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What should I look for when choosing an executor for my estate?

On Behalf of | Jul 19, 2023 | ESTATE PLANNING - Estate Administration & Probate

An executor is the person you appoint in your will to manage your estate when you die. They will handle the estate administration process, including dealing with the probate court. They will settle your outstanding debts, identify and gather your assets, and distribute the estate to your designated beneficiaries. Choosing the executor is one of the most crucial steps of the estate planning process. You want to make sure you get the right person to fill the role.

They should be trustworthy and responsible

The executor will have access to your entire estate. They will be privy to all your financial and personal matters. Therefore, you need to know you can trust them. You and your family should be able to rely on them to fulfill the necessary documentation and meet court deadlines. You must be confident they will not challenge your beneficiaries or contest your provisions.

They should have the time to administrate your estate

Estate administration is not a one-time thing. On average, it can take 16 months to settle a deceased person’s estate. They would be responsible for maintaining your estate before settlement. They will collect your financial records, inventory your assets and personal effects, and pay your bills during this time. They might also need to make regular appearances in probate court to report on the estate. An executor should be responsible enough to oversee the estate and continue working on their own life. Estate administration takes time and dedication.

They should have good communication skills

The executor you appoint will need to keep all the beneficiaries updated with significant changes and transactions of the estate. However, they are also responsible for communicating your last wishes to the beneficiaries. They must be someone who can keep estate administration proceedings peaceful and free from contempt.

They should be competent

The executor must know how to file your final and estate tax returns. Financial obligations take precedence over estate distribution. It would be best if you choose someone who understands the probate process. You might consider an executor who knows how to effectively administer an estate and minimize tax implications and unnecessary costs according to the estate planning laws of Georgia.

The executor you choose will be your personal representative, meaning they will take control of everything you leave behind. Choose someone you can trust to fulfill your wishes and protect the interests of your surviving loved ones.