As you work on your will, you will need to name an executor for it. Your will’s executor is the individual who is tasked with distributing your assets after you pass and ensuring that all of your desires, as detailed in your will, are met. Most individuals name their spouses or an adult child as their executors. Some even opt to name multiple executors, which can sometimes complicate the probate administration process.
When you are writing your will, it is important that you name an executor who you can trust to uphold your wishes after you pass away. Consider the following points as you make this decision.
Naming an Executor Gives you Peace of Mind
If you die without having named an executor for your will, the court will determine a personal representative for your estate. This individual, usually a spouse or another close relative, will act as the will’s executor. This individual might not have the intellectual or moral capacity to fulfill an executor’s role completely, compromising your wishes and your beneficiaries’ inheritance.
Name an Individual Who can be Objective
Naming your will’s executor is not a time to play favorites. An executor’s job is to distribute a deceased individual’s assets to his or her named beneficiaries according to the terms of the will. It is important that you choose an individual who can do this without resentment or the need to pursue his or her own interests when acting as executor – this can lead to beneficiaries losing out on their rightful inheritance and conflict among family members.
A corollary to this is that your executor should not face a conflict of interest when acting in this role, meaning that he or she should not be one who stands to gain anything personally or financially through acting as an executor for your will. For example, naming one of your beneficiaries as your executor.
Keep your Will Updated
You might have to change your executor as the years progress and circumstances change. Remember, your will can be altered as many times as you feel is necessary. If you feel that an individual other than the individual currently named in your will as the will’s executor should take on this role, work with your attorney to alter your will. Do this as your assets evolve as well – if your loved ones have to work with an outdated will after your death, the probate process can be much more complicated for all parties involved as they sort through which assets were still in your possession, which were not, and which new assets are not documented in the will.
Work with a Winter Park Probate Attorney
Estate planning can be a complicated process. There are many components to planning your estate and many ways a poor choice can create difficulties for your loved ones after your passing. Work with an experienced probate attorney to understand every step of planning your estate and the issues you could face with each. For the guidance you need in the Orlando, Florida area, contact Sperling Ducker today to schedule your initial legal consultation with our firm.