It's easy to believe that creating an estate plan is as simple as deciding who will receive what upon your passing. While this is a big part of the process, there are other details that will come into play along the way.
For example, you need to choose an executor for your will. This sounds complicated, but it can be a simple task if you know which steps to take and how to make a final decision.
Before we go any further, it's important to understand that your executor will be staffed with a variety of duties. These include but are not limited to:
- Filing all the necessary paperwork with the court
- Taking inventory of your assets (and debts)
- Using the money left behind to pay for funeral costs, taxes and outstanding bills
- Filing a final income tax return
- Distributing all assets as outlined in the will
With so many responsibilities, it goes without saying that you need to think long and hard about who will make a good executor of your will.
Whom you choose is up to you, but most people first turn their attention to a family member. The people who make the most sense are a spouse or adult child.
If you don't have a family member who can help, don't be shy about considering a close friend.
Once you make a decision, it's time to discuss this with the other person. You may assume that he or she will be okay with the idea of serving as executor, but you won't know for sure until you discuss the finer details. Once you have the person's approval, you can then move forward with a clear mind.
Choosing an executor for your will is every bit as important as it sounds. If you are stuck on this detail, take a step back and consider all your options. There are many people out there who can (and are willing) help. By taking the right approach you should be able to work this out soon enough.