While people may go to great lengths to organize their estate, without someone to oversee its execution their efforts may prove futile. People who desire to see their end-of-life wishes honored and their legacy carried on should focus their attention on finding someone capable of acting as an executor.
Some people may feel pressure to choose someone as their executor based on family relationships. However, a better approach to determining who to rely on for help is for people to assess the characteristics they find most important and filter their prospects based on that.
Characteristics of an executor
According to Forbes, the best executors will demonstrate attentiveness and responsibility. While someone with a financial background is not required, people who find an executor with expertise in that area may have an added measure of confidence.
People should also consider factors including their executor’s age, lifestyle and location. Experts recommend that people keep their choice confidential to minimize unnecessary tension or misunderstanding within their family, especially if the executor they chose is a family member.
Responsibilities of an executor
An executor upholds many important responsibilities that require thorough completion to effectively distribute and finalize a person’s estate. Redfin.com suggests that some executor responsibilities include the following:
- Collect money expected by the deceased, as well as pay any final debts
- Secure a copy of the deceased’s death certificate
- File claims to collect life insurance payments
- Complete tax filings
Executors also maintain the responsibility of organizing and distributing all of the deceased’s assets. Timely delegation of property to the appropriate heirs and beneficiaries may reduce family tension and costly legal involvement.