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NC and SC Estate Planning and Elder Law Firm

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Choosing an Executor

Choosing an executor is one of several important decisions you will need to make during the estate planning process. It may be easy just to pick one of your kids or another family member to take on this role, which is fine in some cases, but there several considerations to keep in mind before doing so. The executor plays a central role in the administration of your estate. There is much responsibility involved, and other dynamics at play that should be taken into account in order for the estate administration process to proceed as seamlessly and drama-free as possible.

What Should You Consider When Choosing an Executor?

The executor will be named in your will. If no executor is appointed, then one will be appointed by the probate court. The executor is in charge of administering your estate after you pass away. Among other things, this includes:

  • Taking an inventory of your estate
  • Protecting assets of the estate
  • Distributing assets according to the wishes expressed in your will
  • Using estate funds to pay bills, taxes, and funeral costs

There are not a whole lot of restrictions on who you may select as your executor. Generally speaking, the person must be over 18 years of age and have no felony convictions on record. There is a big difference, however, between who you can select as your executor and who you should select as your executor.

An executor should be, first and foremost, an organized person. There are many moving parts in the estate administration process and disorganization can greatly upset the process as well as risk nonpayment of creditors and improperly distributing assets of the estate. Additionally, the executor should be an effective communicator. The executor must keep the probate court informed on all dealings regarding the estate administration process. The executor will also need to communicate with beneficiaries of the estate. Honesty is also a quality that is of paramount importance. The executor is in charge of properly managing and protecting assets of the estate and following the wishes of the testator. Honesty needs to be of central importance to your executor.

An additional thing that you should consider, but may not have thought about, is where your potential executor is located. An executor will need to make court appearances and maintain property. If the executor does not live nearby, it will be difficult for him or her to execute these duties. Also, you should take family dynamics into consideration when selecting your executor. While it may be convenient to select one of your children as an executor, remember how tense things can get after a loved one passes away. Emotions run high and can often come out in unproductive ways like your other children suspecting favoritism in your selection of their sibling. This can open up a can of worms that can make the probate process extremely unpleasant.

No matter who you end up selecting, have a discussion with this person about your selection. Make sure they are up to the task and willing to serve in this important role.

Helping You Establish an Estate Plan to Meet Your Needs

Monk Law is here to walk you through the whole estate planning process. There are many important decisions to be made and we will discuss each decision as well as the potential ramifications of each decision. We are here to protect your best interests and those of your loved ones. Contact us today.

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Monk Law Firm, PLLC assists clients throughout Charlotte, Rock Hill, Fort Mill and the surrounding areas.



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1701 First Baxter Crossing, Suite 101, Fort Mill, SC 29708
| Phone: 803-594-4453
13315 Carowinds Blvd., Suite Q, Charlotte, NC 28273
| Phone: 704-369-9977

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