When you are selecting the person who is going to serve as executor of a will, you must be careful with the decision that you make. An executor has to take on substantial responsibilities in the aftermath of a death, which can be difficult for someone who is coping with grief and which can be impossible for someone without the knowledge or skills to fulfill the many responsibilities imposed upon executors during the probate process.
When you create a legally valid will, selecting the executor of a will is just one of the many important decisions that must be made. You should strongly consider working with an experienced attorney to find out more about how to create a will and about how to select an executor who can fulfill his or her essential roles during the Massachusetts probate process.
To find out more about the different ways in which an attorney can help you with creating a will and with making a comprehensive estate plan, call The Law Offices of James A. Miller today.
What to Consider When Selecting the Executor of a Will
When you are selecting someone who can serve as the executor of your will, it is often just tempting to determine that your closest family member, like your spouse, is best suited to serve in this role. However, this is not always going to be the best approach to take when selecting an executor of a will.
You need to think about many different factors to ensure that you have chosen a person who will be willing to serve as executor and who is able to serve as executor. Characteristics that you want the executor to have include:
- Trustworthiness: The executor of a will has to take care of the assets which the estate owns until such time as those assets are legally and officially transferred over to the new owners who will take control over them. Since the executor of a will will be managing your money and property, having someone you can trust to fulfill this role is important. While legal action can be pursued against an untrustworthy executor, you don’t want your family to be forced to go through this process.
- Attention to detail: The probate process can take months and there are a great many steps to the process that the executor must take. It is the job of the executor to file the required paperwork with the court and to do other things like providing notice of probate to heirs or beneficiaries and to creditors. While an executor of a will should have an attorney to provide assistance, ultimately the executor is still going to have some obligations. You want someone who can handle everything required of him during probate.
- Investment and financial knowledge: The executor of a will has to do things like make sure estate taxes are paid and ensure that property and assets that are part of your estate are managed in an appropriate manner so their value is protected. You will need to have someone who you can trust to take care of the complex issues associated with taxes and who you can trust to handle the financial management of your estate.
It is also important to keep in mind that your executor not only has to take care of many complex legal tasks, but also has to be able to do this at the time when you have just passed away and your loved ones may be coping with both grief and with complex family situations. Make a smart choice when selecting who will serve as executor of a will so you do not place undue strain on someone who already may be having a very difficult time in dealing with your passing.
Getting Help from A Massachusetts Wills and Trusts Lawyer
The Law Offices of James A. Miller can provide you with the advice that you need both to select the right executor of a will and to make certain that your last will and testament is legally valid. To find out more about the different ways in which an attorney can help with the creation of your will, give us a call at 866-370-3888 or contact us online.
You can also download a free estate planning worksheet to discover more about what is involved in the estate planning process so you can make a plan that best protects your legacy and ensures financial security for you and your loved ones. Call today to learn more.
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