Articles Posted in Executor

12.18.19Being named as an executor is a big responsibility. Before accepting this role, you should understand what the tasks are, and what you need to be careful about to protect yourself.

It’s flattering. Someone you know thinks highly enough of you to name you as their executor. That means they believe you’re ready and able to do things like settle debts, gather assets, manage estate tax and income tax returns, deal with your family members, distribute the assets and do everything that needs to be done before the estate can be settled.

However, Investopedia’s article from last summer, “5 Surprising Hazards of Being an Executor,” explains that the person named as an executor isn’t required to accept the appointment. Prior to agreeing to act as an executor, you should know some of the hazards that can result, as well as how you can address some of these potential issues, so that being an executor can run smoothly.

11.22.19If a temporary administrator has failed to perform their duties properly, the court has the power to remove this person.

Beneficiaries need to know that they have rights too. If a temporary administrator is not following the terms of the will, taking money that belongs to the estate or failing to perform their fiduciary duties, it’s time to go to court.

nj.com’s recent article, “What to do if an estate administrator isn’t doing his job,” explains that a temporary administrator is usually appointed by a probate judge, because the named executor has died, renounced his or her rights to serve, or is unable to serve.

8.7.19Being named an executor for someone you care about is an honor. It means they trust you and your judgment explicitly. However, it is an honor that comes with responsibilities.

The role of an executor varies with the size and complexity of the estate. The executor is charged with making sure that all final arrangements are made, according to the decedent’s wishes. The executor is also involved with making sure that the distribution of property as directed in the will takes place, taxes are paid and more. It’s a big job. Before agreeing to take on this role, you’ll need to know what it entails, and be confident that you can do it. An article from Investopedia, “5 Things to Consider Before Becoming an Estate Executor” explains the details.

  1. Complexity of the Estate. Typically, the larger the estate—which can be in terms of property, possessions, assets or the number of beneficiaries—the harder and more time consuming it will be. The best way to see how difficult the job will be, is to request to see a copy of the current will. If there are obvious red flags, like unequal distributions to children or trusts or annuities, it may be best to say no.

4.10.19It’s hard because you want to be sure your chosen person understands your wishes, your financial situation and can make good decisions on your behalf. Not everyone can do that.

There is considerable responsibility that comes with being named an executor of an estate, explains MoneySense in the article “Should the sole recipient of an estate be the executor too?” There have been new rules passed in the last year that make the tax reporting even more important. What happens if you realize that the person you originally named may not be up to the task? This is another reason why it’s good to review estate plans every few years. There are several factors to consider when you think about whom you might name.

Consider the person’s age. It’s smart to choose a person who’s younger than you. Although that doesn’t guarantee that they will outlive you, it certainly ups the odds. Ideally, you should try to find a person who is comfortable with the areas of money and tax and doesn’t easily get overwhelmed by paperwork. Since the role of estate executor can be an intense issue that takes a great amount of time, the person you choose ideally will be retired or have the bandwidth to dedicate the substantial time commitment required to do the job properly.

7.13.18Having a will prepared is a gift of kindness to your loved ones. They will appreciate the effort to care for them, after you’ve passed on.

If you need another reason to have a will prepared, consider the potential for conflict among loved ones who will have to guess about what your wishes were during a very difficult time. You can spare them that distress, by preparing your will and estate plan in advance.

US News & World Report’s article, “10 Steps to Writing a Will,” says that if you've been procrastinating on completing the task, here's your opportunity to cross it off your list. You can get going with these simple steps.

5.24.18Don’t delay finalizing your estate plan, because determining who to name as your executor is difficult. Here’s some help to figure out how to make this important decision.

If there are no family members or friends with the necessary skills, your best option may be to name your attorney as the third-party executor of your will. A useful article from nj.com, “Who should be executor of your will?” explains how this works.

An executor is a person you name in your will or who is appointed by the court and is given the legal responsibility to address a deceased person's remaining financial obligations. An executor is responsible for paying debts and creditors, filing tax returns, paying taxes, and distributing the estate's assets, pursuant to the deceased person's wishes as stated in the will.

7.1.16Choosing an executor is not easy, but it is very important. A person who is not capable of managing the tasks can drive even the best estate plan off the path.

Part of creating an estate plan is naming an executor who will be responsible for carrying out the wishes of the decedent, according to a recent item on InsuranceNewsNetMagazine.com, “The Wrong Executor Can Destroy Even the Best Estate Planning.” These tasks include everything from making sure that assets are distributed to tidying up outstanding debts and cleaning out houses. It’s important to select a person who can manage these tasks and—if they are stymied—who will recognize when they need help from professionals.

Executors sometimes are under the impression that it’s a quick and easy job. This might be the fault of the testator or the person who has executed the will. They select an executor and believe that he or she possesses the ability, acumen, time, and desire to carry out the duties of the position. Many don’t inquire as to whether the executor is interested in and capable of serving, or the chosen executor may be hesitant to say no.

6.29.16If a financial institution does not accept a properly prepared power of attorney, you will have to know your rights and be prepared to assert yourself.

A power of attorney is an estate planning basic; however, more often than you would expect, people find themselves being told by financial institutions that they will not accept the power of attorney. It’s such a problem that a number of states have enacted laws to protect the power of attorney.

This form gives a designated person the authority to act on another’s behalf when making financial decisions. It is commonly employed by adult children whose aging parents can no longer act on their own. However, financial institutions frequently make it difficult to exercise that power. The Wall Street Journal article, “When the Power of Attorney Lacks Power,” lists some steps to avoid potential problems.

6.24.16A lot of details go into being an executor, and some people find it a thankless task. But knowing that you helped someone you love carry out his or her last wishes holds its own reward.

Most people are honored when they learn that they have been named executor of a loved one's estate. But according to an article in US News, "4 Tips to Be a Better Executor," they don't really understand what duties and responsibilities are involved.

An executor must deal with the estate of a deceased person—including identifying and valuing the assets, paying debts, and disbursing the assets according to the decedent's will. He or she also needs to ensure that the assets are protected during this period.

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