Estate planning and administration involve many steps that the planner might not initially realize. Engaging in estate planning could better prepare a relatively young person, although there’s no wrong time to take such steps. Older persons might find that later-stage planning is preferable to no planning. A key point to any planning involves making wise decisions, such as selecting an appropriate estate executor.
The executor’s role in probate
When someone passes away, the executor of the estate who is named in the decedent’s will handles many critical responsibilities. These responsibilities involve carrying out the directives in the will. A trustworthy and competent executor could ensure everyone receives assets owed to them after creditors get their payments.
An executor must also file any necessary taxes and handle issues related to insurance on properties, dealing with financial institutions, closing credit and utility accounts, and more. A person with pre-existing knowledge about these steps might be better suited to handle the duties.
Preparing for probate
An estate planner must realize that not naming an executor leaves the decision to the probate court. The court may choose someone the testator would not want to handle estate administration, so naming someone in the will could avoid such a scenario.
Some might take additional actions before passing away. A power of attorney form could prove helpful to those who may benefit by handing over legal and financial authorities to a trusted person. Elderly parents might find it best to have a responsible adult child handle their affairs. A POA form could legally transfer power to the preferred agent. The result might be a better-organized estate.