You will use legal documents to state your wishes, but an estate administrator must take action after your passing to bring these wishes to fruition. If you use a last will as your primary vehicle of asset transfer, this person will be the executor of the estate.
This position is not an honorary or ceremonial post that you give to someone as a token of your affection. There are some very important business-oriented tasks that the executor must complete, and you should take this into consideration when you are nominating your executor.
The estate administration process does not take place in a vacuum. The executor must admit the will to probate, and the administration of the estate will be supervised by the Surrogate’s Court. Because of this, the executor should ideally have some understanding of the probate process.
Property must be identified and inventoried by the executor, and final debts must be paid, including final taxes. The executor has to prepare the property for distribution to the heirs, and this can involve appraisals and liquidation.
Your executor must also be a good communicator who is patient and diplomatic, because interested parties will be coming to the executor to find out how things are going.
When you are choosing an executor, you certainly want to select someone who has a good bit of business acumen.
Time is a factor as well. In some cases, the executor will be spending a great deal of time administering the estate, so you have to make sure that you nominate an executor who has the appropriate availability.
The geographical location of the nominee is another thing to consider. You should ideally select someone who lives in your area.
A person cannot be compelled to act as an executor, so you should discuss things with the person that you choose so that you can be certain that the individual in question is willing to take on the role after your passing.
While it is certainly possible to name an individual that you know personally, you could alternately use a professional fiduciary like a trust company.
Estate Administration Report
We have prepared an in-depth special report that puts the subject of estate administration under the microscope. This report is free, and you can access your copy through this website.
To get your copy of the special report, visit this page: Free Report on Estate Administration.
Take Direct Action
If you would prefer to take direct action, send us a message through our contact page to request a free consultation: Long Island NY Estate Planning Attorneys.