When making a will, you are probably aware that you need to appoint an executor, otherwise referred to as a personal representative. They will be responsible for administering your estate when you are gone and implementing your last wishes as specified by the will.
It is a decision that you must carefully think through, as it may impact your estate and the beneficiaries. Ideally, it should be someone capable and trustworthy to effectively carry out their duties while looking out for the best interests of the estate and its heirs.
The role of an executor
As mentioned, the executor acts as the point man during probate. Some of their responsibilities include:
- Identifying, consolidating and appraising all estate assets
- Settling outstanding claims to the estate
- Collecting debts owed to the estate
- Representing the estate in court
- Managing estate assets until probate is finalized
- Distributing the estate to the beneficiaries, among others
Going by these and other responsibilities of an executor, not everyone is cut out for the job. Therefore, you should not limit yourself to family members or close kin. If you have doubts about their capability, you can rely on a professional to act as your personal representative.
Do not take chances
The unexpected may occur, and the person you settled on may be unavailable or unwilling to take on the role. Therefore, it is advisable to have a contingency plan by naming more than one executor. However, should you appoint more than one person to the role, ensure you clearly define their working relationship to avoid confusion.
It is equally important to know that you can revoke an executor appointment whenever you wish. You can revise your will and appoint a new personal representative if you no longer have confidence or trust in the individual you had named.
Lastly, do not hesitate to reach out for assistance with any concerns you may have when creating your will. Seemingly minor issues may blow out of proportion, and you may not be around to correct the situation.