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What to know before naming an executor of the estate

On Behalf of | Dec 1, 2023 | Estate Planning |

One of the most important parts of an estate plan is the executor of the estate. An executor can be anyone, typically family members. The executor is responsible for processing the will and distributing assets to beneficiaries

However, the role is not so simple and, as such, the testator should consider a few important details before naming an executor. Here’s what you should know:

Consider whether they are right for the role

While a testator can name anyone as their executor, some people may not be right for the role. The duties of an executor often require someone who is responsible and timely. 

For example, the executor will need to collect multiple copies of the testator’s death certificates. They’ll also need to locate assets and contact heirs, banks, creditors and insurers. If a testator doesn’t think an executor is able to do all of that and more, then they may need to locate someone else. 

Talk to the executor before putting their name in your estate plan

While naming someone as an executor is easy, that doesn’t mean the executor is willing to take on the role. An executor should be aware of what’s expected of them when the time comes. But, if they don’t think they are right for the job or that there are too many expectations put on them, then the executor may decline the role and let it pass on to someone else. 

Keep them informed of any changes to your will

Because the executor has such a big role, the testator may need to keep them informed of any changes in the will. This could help them locate assets and beneficiaries in the future. It can also help to inform the testator of where the last will and testament can be located. 

If an executor is unsure what to do when the testator passes away, then it can help to get them in touch with an estate planning attorney.