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Choosing the right executor for an estate

When people are thinking about planning their estate, they often think about trying to minimize the estate tax, keeping their will updated, and keeping items out of probate court; however, there is another important issue that people need to think about. Who should be the executor of their will and their estate? This is a tough question to answer and to pick the right executor, people need to think about the responsibilities of the executor of an estate.

The Responsibilities

The responsibilities of the executor include collecting the assets, calculating the debts, paying the taxes, and distributing the estate. All of these responsibilities must be handled in a timely manner to ensure that all parties are appeased during this detailed process. The executor will also need to handle any claims made against the estate and determine what claims are legitimate and what claims are not. Who is the right person to handle this job?

The Time Commitment

Asking someone to be an executor of a will or an estate is a time commitment. There is a significant amount of documentation that forms the foundation of a detailed planning process. Furthermore, actually making sure that the right assets end up in the hands of the right person can be a challenge. Therefore, people need to make sure that the person who is picked to be an executor has the time to do this job right.

The Educational Background

While it isn't necessary to pick an executor with a financial or legal background, it could certainly help. For example, trusts, wills, and estate planning issues have a significant financial implication with regard to asset distribution. Failing to plan an estate well could cost an estate up to 50 percent of its value in terms of the estate tax. Furthermore, trusts have a significant amount of legal implications in terms of removing assets from the estate calculation and ensuring that the assets in the trust are divided appropriately.

Anyone with estate planning concerns should consider contacting an experienced attorney for assistance.

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