One of the choices that has to be made when completing estate planning is naming an executor. An executor is the person who will be in charge of ensuring that the directives of the will are carried out, bills of the estate are paid, and that the property of the estate is distributed accordingly. The executor is named in the will and takes appointment by taking an oath in the probate court of the county of residence of the deceased. An executor is provided substantial powers to accumulate the assets of the deceased, pay off debts, sell property, and make distributions. When a business is owned by the deceased, the executor is responsible for running the business until such is transferred out of the estate. The Court will require the Executor to file periodic reports and to post a bond to ensure that the assets of the estate are secured, unless the provisions of the will relieve the Executor of filling reports and paying a bond
Often times, couples have difficulty selecting which of their children should serve as executor. Often times, one of the children will be better handling financial matters than the others, or one of the children is local and has easier access to handle the property of the estate. Although there is often hesitancy in naming only one child as executor, it is the most efficient choice, as only one person will be required to go to court to swear the oath as executor and sign the documents. Being an executor can also be a hassle, although the burden can be delegated to attorneys, real estate agents, estate sale companies, and other professional services companies.
When choosing the executor of the estate, start a conversation with your estate planning attorney to ensure the estate is administered efficiently and according to the wishes set forth in the will.