Not many people want to think about what happens when they die, but when it comes to estate planning, it is important. One of the factors to consider is who will manage your estate, and you should choose this individual, known as the executor, with care.
The role of executor is significant, and it takes quite a bit of time and effort.
Duties and responsibilities of the executor
According to CNBC, managing an estate requires a wide variety of responsibilities. Along with filing the will with the court, common duties include:
- Locating, valuing and securing named assets
- Locating and informing heirs
- Paying bills and debts of the estate
- Maintaining the estate’s property
- Distributing assets
- Filing and paying taxes of the estate
The time it takes to close an estate ranges from an average of 4 months to 3 1/2 years, depending on the size and complexity of the estate.
Traits of a good executor
One of the important traits of an executor is trustworthiness, as you are entrusting him or her with a lot. According to AARP, organization is another trait that makes the role of executor easier. The individual should be able to prioritize tasks, maintain records, make to-do lists and create spreadsheets. It helps if the person lives near the estate, as there will be numerous trips to any property owned by the estate and possibly the courthouse. The individual should also have the time to focus on carrying out the will’s instructions.
It helps if the executor has financial or accounting knowledge, but it is not imperative. The executor may choose to hire professionals to help with certain aspects of estate management. It is also possible to name co-executors, although these two should be able to work well together.