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How to choose an executor to your estate

Writing your last will and testament can be complicated and overwhelming. Yet, becoming informed on matters concerning the estate may help you create a complete and comprehensive document.

According to Forbes, choosing the executor of the estate is an important detail of the estate plan. Keep in mind that if you fail to name an executor in your last will and testament, the court may appoint one for you.

What is the role of an estate administrator?

The estate executor, or administrator, is in charge of overseeing all matters during the probate process. Once he or she obtains certain documents, including the death certificates and the last will and testament, the administrator gathers all property and assets listed in the estate. It is up to the executor to protect the property from theft or vandalism during the probate process.

Any debts or expenses owed by the deceased, such as federal or state taxes, are then paid out of the estate’s value. The administrator must then locate the beneficiaries named in the will. The remaining property and assets are distributed to the appropriate heirs as directed by the deceased.

What traits should you look for?

Not everyone is cut out for the responsibilities required of an estate executor. Before you choose a person to head up your estate, you may want to make sure he or she has the following traits:

  • Detail oriented
  • Punctual or able to meet tight deadlines
  • Organized
  • Trust-worthy

The administrator must have the time available to devote to taking care of matters. Furthermore, you should ask the person whether he or she is willing to take the position.