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Choosing an executor plays significant estate planning role

Your will may act as the staple of your estate plan. This document can provide instruction for various parts of your estate, most commonly the distribution of your assets. However, before your will and estate can go through the probate process, your executor must carry out certain duties. Therefore, you may want to ensure that the party you appoint to the position of executor has the capabilities and willingness to take on the position.

When choosing an executor, a multitude of factors need to go under consideration. By understanding the duties and responsibilities such a position entails, you may have a greater ability to choose the person right for your situation.

Executor duties

Your choosing of an executor puts an individual in charge of your estate to handle your remaining affairs after your death. Those duties include:

  • Filing necessary court papers to begin probate
  • Taking inventory of your estate
  • Using estate funds to handle necessary financial affairs
  • Notifying banks, post office and other agencies of your demise
  • Handling final tax returns
  • Distributing assets as the will dictates

Personality traits

You may also do well to consider your potential executor's personality traits. Because the duties involve numerous personal affairs, your executor should act in a responsible and honest manner. If your candidate has exhibited less-than-truthful actions or let important obligations fall to the side in the past, he or she may not have the best traits to carry out the needed duties. Additionally, your executor should have the ability to keep important documents and appointments organized.

You may also want to consider your candidate's health and age to ensure that your executor will likely live beyond your years.

Candidate options

Family members often come to mind first when considering individuals to handle an estate. However, you may not feel comfortable appointing one of your family members as executor if you do not believe they have the necessary traits. A close friend who meets your desired qualifications could act as a strong candidate.

Once you decide on a candidate, you must get their approval beforehand. If the individual does not feel up to the challenge of handling your estate, you will likely need to choose another person.

Legal steps

In order to ensure that your choice of executor is legally binding, you need to file the proper paperwork with your estate plan.

Consulting with an experienced Nevada attorney could help you make sure that you understand the duties an executor carries out and the qualifications that make an effective choice. Additionally, a legal professional can help get your estate plan affairs in order.

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