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Tips For Selecting An Executor

Selecting the executor of your estate is a very important part of estate planning.  Your executor is the person who will manage your estate’s affairs, represent your estate and distribute your assets.  Selecting the right person for this job will ensure that your heirs receive their inheritances in a timely and accurate manner.  Choosing the wrong person as your executor could potentially result in extensive delays and even legal battles.

What are the duties of an executor?

Essentially, your executor is the manager of your estate and all your assets.  The role of executor involves locating and performing an inventory of your assets, reporting them to the courts, paying your final expenses and debts and filing the necessary tax returns.  He or she must notify your beneficiaries of their inheritances and then distribute your assets in accordance with your wishes.  Your executor must be well-organized and be able to properly file documents with the court and government agencies.

Who should you choose as your executor?

Many people choose a family member or friend to take on the role of executor.  Even though a family member or friend knows you well, he or she might not be capable of handling all of the duties required of an executor.  You will want to choose someone that you can trust will carry out your final wishes and uphold the best interests of you beneficiaries.  If you are considering a family member or friend to be your executor, ensure that he or she is equipped for the job and up to the task.

When selecting your executor, consider the following:

1.      Choose someone who is fair and loyal to be your executor.  When administering your estate, you will want your executor to be fair to your beneficiaries and treat each of them in accordance with their entitlement.

2.      Can you trust the person you are considering as your executor with your money?  When you pass away, your executor will be handing all of your assets and property so ensure that you choose someone you can trust whole-heartedly.

3.      When it comes to administering an estate, you will want to choose someone who is practical.  Ensure your executor has good judgment and is able to make practical decisions when it comes to your estate administration.

4.      Ensure the person you select as your executor is well-organized.  He or she will need to be able to handle invoices, bills, and various other documents properly and promptly.

When you decide on someone to act as your executor, ensure that the person understands what is expected and is willing and able to perform the duties required of them.

Consider enlisting the help of a trusted estate planning attorney to assist you in selecting the right person as your executor and to ensure the individual you choose is reliable and performs his or her duties properly.

We can help you plan for the future.  To discuss your specific needs with one of our estate planning attorneys in Pittsburgh, please call us at Fingeret Law at 412.281.8222 or contact us online.


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