The executor role in the management and administration of an estate is an important one which is why estate planners should know what to take into consideration when deciding on an executor for their estate plan. When estate planning, there are many considerations to take into account and the importance of selecting an executor should not be overlooked.
What to consider when selecting an executor
When the estate planner passes, the executor will be responsible for managing all aspects of their estate. Acting as an executor for an estate is a significant time commitment and can include a lot of work. The duties of an executor can include:
- Tracking down all of the estate planner’s assets and liabilities and accounting for them;
- Submitting the estate planner’s will for acceptance for the probate process;
- Responsibility for tax filings, tax elections and court accountings of income and expenses;
- Working with attorneys and CPAs to obtain valuations for real estate, financial assets and business assets; and
- Arbitrating family disputes.
The duties of the executor can last for between a minimum of two years to a much longer period of time. The executor’s work is complete when all of the liabilities and expenses of the estate are satisfied; the assets of the estate are distributed; and the final tax filings have been accepted. When selecting an executor, it is helpful to look for a high degree of responsibility, attention to detail and experience working with financial professionals. It is also important that the executor will outlive the estate planner and helpful if they are familiar with the estate planner’s values and family dynamics. It is also helpful if the chosen executor is not located overseas.
The executor serves and important role in the management and administration of the estate to ensure it is administered how the estate planner wants. Because of the significance of the executor role, the estate planner should carefully make their selection during the estate planning process.