In the event that you pass away without a will, you may leave behind loved ones who are unsure of what to do next. This can be an incredibly challenging and stressful time for them, which is why it’s important that they know what legal steps to take in order to protect their interests. In order to get the process started, someone needs to step forward as the executor of your estate. This person is responsible for collecting your assets and distributing them according to your instructions in your will. Although there are many different people who could serve as your executor, it’s often a family member or close friend who feels comfortable handling this responsibility. Let’s dive into more detail about what an executor does and how you can find one if needed.
What Is An Executor?
An executor is a person who will oversee the process of collecting your assets and distributing them according to your instructions in your will. If you don’t have a will, the probate court will appoint someone to do this for you. The executor is often the person who will be named in your will as the person who will handle your estate if you pass away. This person has the authority to collect your assets, pay off any outstanding debts, and distribute your remaining assets to the people named in your will. So who can be named as an executor? Anyone who is 18 years old or older and who lives in the same state as you. If you have no family members who are willing and able to serve as an executor, then a probate court will appoint someone to do this for you. A probate court will almost always appoint the state’s fiduciary public administrator.
Responsibilities Of An Executor
The executor of your will is responsible for collecting your assets and distributing them according to your instructions in your will. This includes everything from paying off any outstanding debts to collecting any assets you may have, such as stocks and bonds, cash, real estate, etc. This person may also need to deal with any legal claims against your estate. In some cases, the executor may need to hire a lawyer to deal with any legal issues that arise. The executor may also be responsible for making sure that your final taxes are filed, which is why it’s so important to have an accurate representation of your assets. If you don’t have a will, the probate court will appoint someone to do this for you.
How To Find An Executor
If you’re in the process of drafting a will, the first thing you should do is decide who should be named as your executor. Ideally, this person should be someone you trust and feel comfortable with. You should also make sure that this person has the time and the resources to finish the job, as this can be a very time-consuming process. Ideally, you should also name a backup executor in case your first choice isn’t able to finish the job. If you already have a will and are searching for an executor, there are a few things you can do to find one. First, you can ask your lawyer to recommend someone. You can also ask your family members and close friends if they would be willing to take on this responsibility. You can also look online for services that match people needing an executor with those who are willing to take the job.
The Importance Of Having A Will
Having a will is incredibly important for a variety of reasons, but perhaps most importantly, it allows you to fully and accurately represent your wishes for how your assets should be distributed. Having a will also allows you to name a guardian for your minor children in the event of your passing, which can save your loved ones a lot of time and heartache. Having a will can also save your loved one’s money, as it will avoid them from having to go through probate. Probate is a legal process that allows a probate court to review your will and your assets in order to make sure that everything was distributed correctly. This can take a long time, cost your loved ones money, and cause added stress and anxiety. Having a will can also help your loved ones avoid any potential creditor claims against your estate. If you die without a will, your assets will be distributed according to state law, which could lead to your loved ones receiving assets that are owed to someone else.
Having an executor named in your will can be incredibly helpful. This person is responsible for collecting your assets and distributing them according to your instructions in your will. In the event that you pass away without a will, the probate court will appoint someone to do this for you. Ideally, you should name someone you trust and feel comfortable with, and make sure that they have the time and resources to finish the job. Having a will is incredibly important, as it allows you to fully and accurately represent your wishes for how your assets should be distributed.
Geisha Morris-Jacobs is an accountant with over 13 years of experience in accounting, taxes, and estate planning. She has helped dozens of clients with clearing up IRS audits and past tax debts. Geisha is also the owner of Jacobwise & Co., a boutique accounting firm that specializes in helping small businesses grow their revenue and individuals create estates to provide for their loved ones.