Estate planning and choosing an executor

Date: Nov 09, 2012

No matter what stage of life you are currently at, it is always important that you have a valid will written and that it is current. Estate planning can prevent your family from having to deal with the pitfalls of intestacy which can be a drawn out process.

One of the most crucial aspects of estate planning is choosing an executor of your estate as it is the executor's job to ensure that your property is distributed they way you intended.

The role of an executor is an important and time consuming responsibility, so be sure that who you have chosen is able and willing to carry out the task when the time comes.

You can choose more than one executor. The benefits in having multiple executors are the work load is shared and each executor can keep the other in check. However having more than one executor can be logistically difficult as all executors are required to agree on the administration of the estate and sign all estate documents.

The administration of the estate can be delayed if executors cannot agree or are unavailable to sign documents.

When choosing an executor ensure that the person has some knowledge about your estate so that they have an idea about how much work will be involved.

The more your chosen executor knows about your financial affairs and personal circumstances, the easier it is for him or her to administer your estate.

The role of an executor can be trying as they must distribute the estate according to the will and make sure that all taxes and debts are paid. A final tax return must be submitted as a part of the executor's duties. Executors may also have to manage any estate disputes.

If there are trusts in place for beneficiaries who haven't reached the age set out by willmaker, then the executor must care for and manage these trusts until the person or persons are old enough to inherit them. You should choose an executor who is able and committed to manage such trusts and who will live long enough to do so.

Call Dominic Wilson for advice from an experienced lawyer who can assist with estate planning and help you choose an executor who will be able to carry out your wishes for your property when you die.