You have many different choices when it comes to asset transfer vehicles, but the last will is the most commonly used estate planning document. When you create a will, you state your wishes with regard to the distribution of your property.
Taking care of the paperwork is part of the equation, but there is also a human element to take into consideration. Someone must handle the business of the estate after you pass away, and this person is called the executor.
The executor cannot read the will and then distribute property independently. Before personal property can be distributed, the will must be admitted to probate. The probate court will then supervise the administration of the estate.
Since the probate process will come into play, the executor should understand the expectations of the court, because there are laws that must be followed. Since probate is a legal process, it is not uncommon for an executor to bring in a probate lawyer to assist.
The executor must pay final debts on behalf of the estate, so creditors must be notified, and final taxes must be paid as well.
Property that is going to be distributed to the heirs must be identified and inventoried by the executor, and the property will subsequently be prepared for distribution. This can involve appraisals and liquidation.
During the process, anyone who has an interest in the estate would be communicating with the executor.
Once all the necessary tasks have been completed, it will be up to the court to close the estate and allow the executor to distribute assets to the heirs in accordance with the wishes of the decedent as stated in the last will.
When you are choosing an executor, you should make sure that you select someone who has a good mind for business. You would also want to nominate someone who lives in your area, and you should consider the anticipated longevity of your nominee.
Depending on the circumstances, the executor may be devoting a significant amount of time to the administration of the estate. The person that you choose should be capable of devoting enough time to the process, and you should make sure that your nominee is actually willing to act as the executor.
The executor should also be a diplomatic person who is capable of communicating with surviving family members and others in a patient and respectful manner.
Contact Our Firm
Estate administration is an important part of the process. If you would like to devise a turnkey estate plan that facilitates efficient asset transfers after your passing, our firm can help.
We offer free consultations, and you can contact us through this page to set up an appointment: Grand Forks ND Estate Planning Attorneys.