Many people simply default to choosing a close relative to serve in the role of executor. Your executor is the person responsible for handling your estate administration. An executor is either named by the court to administer the decedent’s estate or named in a will.
An executor’s duties can cover many different aspects, especially if the individual who passed away owned substantial assets. Some of the most common duties of an executor include determining estate liability, gathering an inventorying the assets of the estate, paying off liabilities, determining heirs who may be eligible to receive remaining distributions, and then distributing the assets’ remains to the appropriate parties. If an executor fails to perform these duties accurately, that person may be held individually liable to heirs or creditors who become harmed due to those inactions or actions.
Start by considering the complexity of your own estate as well as the abilities and willingness of the people you’re thinking about asking to choose. Serving an executor can take a significant amount of time because they must take care of things like notifying life insurance companies, investment companies, banks, creditors, publishing death notifications, and even filing estate tax returns.
According to one research study, the average time it takes to settle an estate is over 570 hours. You want to choose an individual who is comfortable serving in this role, as well as someone who is capable of maintaining open lines of communication with other parties to your estate. It’s a good idea to have a conversation with your intended executor, too, so that you know they feel confident and are willing to take on this level of responsibility. Working with a qualified estate planning lawyer in NH can help you effectively name this individual for the purposes of your estate.