When you’ve decided to make out your will, you must also name an executor who will handle the distribution of your assets and pay your estate’s bills. Many people struggle with this choice, fearing they will offend one family member or friend over another, and some may worry over whom to trust. The answers are not easy, but there are some qualities to look for when choosing your executor.
How to choose an executor of your estate
Ideally, the person you pick an executor for your will should be an honest and diplomatic person who is also organized and responsible for meeting deadlines and filing accurate paperwork. Ask yourself some questions about the person. How does he or she handle conflict? Are yearly taxes filed on time? Could he or she manage your assets and distribute money without giving in to temptation? Santa Barbara wills lawyers know your choice of the executor can mean the difference between a well-handled estate where heirs get the bequests in an efficient and timely fashion and one that is so mishandled the court has to appoint a new executor. Most people pick a responsible family member, which in some cases can lead to jealousy and infighting, but usually, that is not a new situation in the family dynamic. The next most-picked choice is a close family friend. Whichever executor you pick, the person should live nearby. Documents will need to be filed with the local court and your belongings must be secured until it is time to distribute them. When an executor lives far away, they may charge travel expenses to the estate. You should also not pick someone older than you or close to your age, as your executor may pass away before you do.
Get experienced estate planning attorneys on your side
Estate planning is a complex area of law that requires experienced Santa Barbara wills lawyers that will understand your current needs, as well as your future needs, in order to protect you and your loved ones’ interests.
When you bring your case to the Wilson & Pettine, LLP , you get decades worth of experience in family law and its related legal areas of wills, trusts and civil litigation. Our family law practice serves clients needing legal representation for divorce, custody issues, domestic partnership and adoption. We represent clients throughout Santa Barbara and the neighboring area, including Carpinteria, Montecito, Goleta and Summerland.
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Last update of the article: 07/08/2020