Articles Tagged with 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.

12.11.19Once you understand what a will can do, the reason that everyone needs one becomes a lot clearer, especially if you have any minor children or any assets.

A will is a legal document used to provide clear and binding instructions on how you want your assets to be distributed after you die. Everyone should have a will, because they can also be used to identify a person who you want to handle your property, known as the executor and who should be the guardian of your minor children, if both parents die.

Yahoo Finance’s article, “What Does a Last Will and Testament Actually Do?” explains that a last will and testament has instructions for what you want to happen with your assets. A will also designates an executor, names beneficiaries and more. You should work with a qualified estate planning lawyer, when preparing one.

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.

10.31.19At last, you’ve completed your estate documents, including retitling assets and checking beneficiary designations. The only question left is, where should they be stored? The answer is not that simple.

Do you know where your estate plan documents are? Many people ask their estate planning attorneys to hold onto their originals. They feel like this is the best way to prevent the plans from being misplaced, and curious family members won’t be able to see their contents.

Forbes’ recent article, “Keeping Your Estate Planning Documents Safe,” explains that because of the expense of storage and the move to paperless offices, some estate planning attorneys are now having their clients hold the original documents.

5.7.19A single parent wonders if they need a will, or if just making an account a Payable on Death or POD account will be an adequate solution for transferring his assets when he dies.

Even if you have only one child, if you have no will, things will be complicated for her or him. You may wonder if you can simplify matters, just by creating a POD account with their name as the person to inherit the account when you die. However, what if you have other property, like a car, a tax or credit card refund, or any other asset that is not part of that account? Yes, that property will pass to the sole child by intestacy. However, having a will could make it far easier for your child.

nj.com’s recent article asks “Do I really need a will to help my son when I die?” The article explains that by naming your only child as the beneficiary on a POD or Transfer on Death (TOD) account, that move only governs the transfer of that particular account at your death.

9.3.19Here’s a legacy that you may not want to leave for your family to pay: your credit card debt. It doesn’t go away when you die.

Three out of four consumers die in debt, says Yahoo Finance’s recent article, “What Happens to Credit Card Debt When You Die?” That means the executor has to pay the debt, and the money comes from what might have been an inheritance. If you have many debts, the inheritance may become very small—or vanish altogether.

If you’re worried about your family being stuck with your debts after you die, know your rights and work with an estate planning attorney to help protect your assets.

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.

7.23.19Notice that the title is not “if” you need to update a will, but “when.” A will is like the family pet—it can protect the house and demonstrate your love for your family. However, you have to take care of it.

People often comment when they complete their estate planning, that they feel so good to have done this very important task. It’s a great feeling to know that you’ve made the necessary preparations to protect your family and preserve your legacy. However, this is not a one-and-done event.

Thrive Global’s recent article, “7 Reasons Why You Need to Review your Will Right Now,” says it’s extremely important that you regularly update your will to avoid any potential confusion and extra stress for your family at a very emotional time. As circumstances change, you need to have your will reflect changes in your life. As time passes and your situation changes, your will may become invalid, obsolete or even create added confusion, when the time comes for your will to be administered.

7.9.19If you are among the millions of Americans who prefer to lease a car rather than buy it, you have obligations that are spelled out in the lease agreement. That contract and the laws of your state direct what happens, when a lease owner passes away.

What if the salesman at the car dealership shakes your hand and says don’t worry about a thing when you ask if your spouse is responsible for a lease if you die? Check the fine print, advises nj.com in the article “What happens to my car lease when I die?” There are a few parties to that contract, including the car dealership, the financing company and the person leasing the car.

Remember that a vehicle lease is a contract, so if you're the executor who’s managing the deceased person's affairs, you should review the terms of the vehicle lease. In some instances, death may be classified as an "early termination" of the lease, and payment obligations may continue.

6.10.19Despite early reports that she had no will, it seems the Queen of Soul spent a fair amount of time creating three wills to provide for her four sons and leaving behind some strong opinions of the people in her circles. She just didn’t share those wills with her attorney.

When Aretha Franklin died of pancreatic cancer last August, it seemed that she had joined the ranks of  many celebrities who never created their wills or thought much about what they wanted their legacy to be.

The Detroit News’s recent article, “Handwritten wills found in Aretha Franklin home favor her four sons” reports that three handwritten wills have been discovered in one of her homes.

Contact Information