Ask a Probate Lawyer: How to Avoid Family Stress When Choosing an Executor
Among the most important decisions to make when creating a will is to select someone who can act as executor for the will. Keep in mind that an executor may need to handle disputes with beneficiaries, which is why it’s essential that you put a lot of thought into this decision. While you may have someone in mind for the role of executor, you might want to make a decision that won’t cause undue amounts of family stress. The wrong choice can add to the friction between family members, which you should avoid if you want to make sure that your assets and possessions are distributed in a timely and efficient manner. A probate lawyer can help you choose a good executor.
What Does an Executor Do?
When you assign someone to be an executor of your will, it’s important to understand that this individual will have numerous duties and responsibilities that they may need to fulfill. The exact responsibilities depend mainly on the complexity of your will, which you should discuss with estate planning attorneys in Las Vegas. The main requirement that an executor must adhere to is to act in good faith when carrying out a person’s will. While the executor isn’t entitled to obtain funds from the estate, they may be entitled to a sizable fee for the services they administer. Some of the many tasks that an executor can perform include:
- Locating the deceased person’s assets and keeping them safe if necessary.
- Filing the will with the correct probate court, which is required even if the will doesn’t need to go through probate in Las Vegas.
- Contacting any beneficiaries who were directly named in the will.
- Determining if the probate process is necessary, which may be required to validate the will.
- Continuing payments from the estate’s bank account, which can include insurance, mortgage, and any other reoccurring payments.
- Paying off creditors and debts that the deceased individual may have owed at the time of their death.
- Making sure that property is distributed accordingly.
- Paying income taxes for the final year the deceased individual was alive.
Because of the large number of tasks that the executor will be tasked with performing, it’s highly recommended that you choose someone you can trust.
How to Eliminate Family Stress When Making Your Choice
When you’re creating a will, it’s important to understand that family stress is practically impossible to avoid. While family members may deal with this stress in different ways, doing what you can to minimize any family stress may ensure that the will is carried out without any disputes or issues that could delay the proceedings.
At the time of creating a will, many people select an executor based on family connections and personal relationships. Even though it’s easier to choose someone you know and can trust, it’s also important that the executor of your choosing has the skills needed to carry out the will without adding to the stress that your family members are experiencing.
All executors must act in good faith when carrying out a will. It’s also important that they take measures to avoid potential conflicts of interest. The character traits that are most important in an executor include honesty, patience, and the ability to communicate well with others. An executor will oftentimes be tasked with managing disputes between beneficiaries, which is why it’s essential that your executor doesn’t add to the stress your family is going through.
Additional Tips on Selecting the Right Executor
When you’re taking steps to choose the right executor for your will, consider following some tips and guidelines that will minimize the possibility that you make the wrong decision. For instance, never choose someone who doesn’t get along with one or more of your family members. If you do, it’s much more likely that additional disagreements will occur when you’re gone, which only makes it more difficult for the will to be carried out in accordance with your wishes.
Make sure that the executor of your choosing understands that they can seek assistance from estate planning attorneys in Las Vegas if they are finding it difficult to settle your estate. Carrying out a will can be a lengthy process depending on the complexity of the document, which is why it’s better to obtain help from probate attorneys in Las Vegas instead of attempting to perform the required tasks without assistance.
Before you make your final decision, you’ll likely want to speak with the person you’re considering naming as executor. If the person doesn’t find out they’ve been named as executor until after you pass, they may be uninterested in performing the work that’s required of them. When you speak with this person, you’ll be able to determine if they are right for the role.
You may discover that the individual doesn’t want to be an executor or is too busy to visit probate court, sell properties, close accounts, and distribute assets on your behalf. Doing your due diligence before selecting an executor should make your more confident in your final decision.
Why You Should Obtain Help From a Probate Lawyer
When you’re setting out to create a will and choose an executor for the will, you might want to retain the services of a probate lawyer. They can help you look at candidates for the executor role and can give you advice on the qualities that are most important for this role. The probate lawyer you hire can also help guide you through the process of making a will. If you’d like to avoid the probate process altogether, a lawyer can assist you in protecting your assets and making sure that your beneficiaries receive your possessions and assets without delay.