The "executor" of your estate is someone who will be responsible for administering your estate. The executor's duties include (1) collecting all of your assets, (2) paying off all of your debts, and (3) distributing remaining assets according to your wishes. You name your executor in your last will and testament.
Our experienced estate planning attorneys at Barber Power Law Group have seen just about every scenario play out with executors. It is important to spend time choosing who this person or these people will be. You must obviously trust them a lot. They must also accept the appointment to administer your estate. A clerk or judge will have to qualify them as competent to handle your affairs.
When we craft estate plans for our clients, we make sure to include either co-executors or successor executors. Appointing co-executors can be a smart decision if you have a large estate or a divided family. One key consideration when appointing co-executors is whether these people will get along and be able to come to agreements when handling property. For instance, if you have a large debt that needs to be paid off, one co-executor may want to sell your house to pay the debt while the other may want to sell your cars to pay it. If they can't agree on this or similar situations, then legal issues may arise, which will cost your estate significant fees. We always list successor executors in the event that your first choice of executor isn't able to serve. They may live on the other side of the country, and it is just inconvenient for them to handle your estate administration long-distance. Their relationship with you may not be as favorable as it was when you appointed them in your will. They may have predeceased you and are thereby automatically (and obviously) disqualified from serving. Successor executors are your second and third choices for administering your estate. The same thought and consideration needs to be given to choosing them as well.
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