Creating a will is one of the most important things that you will do to secure your legacy. While you can use a variety of different tools, such as trusts and pay-on-death accounts to make sure your assets transfer appropriately, there is a good chance that at least some of your property and assets will end up transferring via your will. This means you need to make a comprehensive and complete will that explains your wishes.
One of the provisions that you will need to include in your will is a clause that names someone to serve as the executor of your will. You need to carefully consider who should be the executor because the executor has a lot of responsibility in the days and months after your death. Zimmer Law Firm can provide you with invaluable assistance in naming someone who can serve as the executor of your will, so give us a call as soon as possible to find out about the ways in which our legal team can help with creating a will.
What if You Do Not Name an Executor In Your Will?
As you make your will, you want to be sure to name an executor in the will so that you get to determine who is in charge of winding up the affairs of your estate. The executor is the person who is going to have to go to probate court and file the paperwork to get the probate process started.
The executor will also have to notify beneficiaries and creditors; make an accounting of the estate; get appraisals if necessary; manage the estate assets; and take care of all estate property until it is transferred to the new owners you have designated. If your will is challenged, the executor will also be the person who takes responsibility for ensuring your wishes are respected, usually by hiring and working with a lawyer who defends the will.
Since the executor has so many important jobs to do, it matters a lot who you select to serve as the executor if your estate. If you do not choose an executor for your will, the court is going to have to appoint someone to fulfill this role. The appointed person, who may be called a personal administrator or estate administrator, may not be the person who you would have wanted to fulfill this role and take care of your assets during the probate process. Of course, there will be nothing you can do about it at this point- by not naming an executor, you will have lost the chance to ensure that your preferred person acts as an executor.
Failing to name an executor in your will can also add complexity to the probate process, can make the process take longer, and could leave your family in disagreement regarding who should go to court and who should try to be appointed executor. You should allow your family to avoid this and keep things as simple as possible by choosing someone to act as an executor.
How to Choose an Executor
When you have decided to name an executor in your will, as you should, you should make sure that the person who you choose to serve as an executor is capable and willing to fulfill this role. If you select someone to be an executor and that person does not want to take on this responsibility, you and your family will be in the same position as those no executor had been chosen at all.
You should be sure that the person you select is able to handle the logistics of going to court for probate, which can take time and which can be complicated as the executor must determine what paperwork to file. You should also be certain that the executor is able to take care of your property and assets during the probate process, until the assets are able to be formally and finally transferred. The executor will need to take care of the logistics involved in transferring assets as well, such as changing the titles and deeds on your property. The executor also must handle accounting and tax issues. All of these tasks must be taken care of in the aftermath of your death, as your loved ones also cope with grief.
Getting Help with Creating a Will
Naming an executor is just one of many things you need to do when creating your will. Zimmer Law Firm can provide invaluable assistance with all of the steps to take to create a legally valid will. To find out more, join us for a free seminar or give us a call at 513.721.1513 for personalized advice.