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How to choose an executor for your estate

On Behalf of | Mar 13, 2020 | Firm News |

People in New York who are thinking ahead to the future are more than likely engaging in estate planning. Part of this process is choosing an executor and, because of the role this person plays, it is important to put effort and time into making sure to select the right one.

According to Forbes, an executor of an estate takes over upon the death of the owner of the estate. This role consists of a variety of duties, such as:

  • Gathering all information regarding liabilities and assets
  • Tax filings and elections
  • Engaging in probate
  • Procuring valuations for property and other assets
  • Locating beneficiaries

The role as executor is not easy or quick, and this should be a consideration when deciding who the person or professional will be. Three traits that are important are trustworthiness, responsibility and detail oriented. It helps to pick someone who has some financial and tax knowledge, or at least will be willing to hire professionals in those areas.

When finished narrowing down a list of executors, it is important to make sure the person you choose actually wants the job. AARP discusses some factors potential executors should consider before saying yes. Along with time and the prementioned traits, the executor should be calm and able to handle the stress and varying personalities he or she will come into contact with.

Considering travel, professional fees and administrative fees, being an executor also takes money. Most estates outline a certain amount of money to cover these, but there is also the consideration of time spent. Ask if there is a specific fee for the executor after paying all other costs.

It is possible to choose co-executors. This may include a professional, such as a financial advisor, accountant or attorney, and a close friend or family member.