Selecting the right executor

On Behalf of | Feb 18, 2023 | Estate Planning

Estate planning requires many steps, and doing it properly could help ensure things work smoothly in a Michigan probate court. Devising a will with careful thought and consideration may involve more than determining who receives particular assets. Selecting the right person as the executor is also a vital step.

Choosing an executor

A reliable and responsible executor is a must. An executor has many duties, including closing bank accounts, filing personal tax returns, paying debts and distributing assets. The probate process could drag out if the executor is not well organized, let alone dishonest. Additionally, beneficiaries might petition to remove an incompetent executor, making the process stressful for all involved.

It could be helpful to select an executor with the appropriate financial and other specific knowledge related to the estate. For example, if the will details steps involving a business’s sale, something with knowledge about the enterprise and its primary industry might be uniquely qualified.

The executor may spend significant time dealing with the deceased’s family members. So, choosing someone who knows the family and will be respectful towards them could be helpful. The executor should understand the deceased’s relationship with the beneficiaries, as such knowledge might help the executor fulfill the testator’s preferences.

The planning stage

During the estate planning process, it may be advisable to meet with potential executors to determine their competency. Asking a potential executor questions related to the more complex elements of the estate could result in choosing the appropriate person.

Perhaps discussing the estate and its scope with a would-be executor would be helpful. If someone feels uncomfortable with the job after learning what it entails, the person could bow out. That could be preferable to choosing someone who doesn’t work out.