Picking the right estate executor is important

The decision of who will be an estate executor is an important part of any estate plan. An estate executor is a time consuming position because the executor will administer an estate until it is legally closed, which can take years.

To legally close an estate, a will has to be admitted into court and go through a process called probate. During a probate, a court determines whether the will is a valid document and resolves any claims against the estate, such as the claims of creditors and taxes.

Unexpected estate tax audits and will contests can prolong the probate process. Changes in tax law will also require extra planning for executors and probate lawyers, the New York Time reports. A new tax law allows the $5 million-per-person federal estate tax exclusion to be transferred between spouses. This transferability, called portability, means that a surviving spouse can use a portion of the deceased spouse's unused exclusion.

This federal estate tax exclusion can be used to make lifetime gifts or to protect the surviving spouse's estate, but there is a requirement that an estate tax return must be filed when the spouse dies. If the executor fails to file a return within the 9 month period then the spouse will lose the right to portability, the New York Times reports. This is why it is important to carefully chose an executor because the executor's neglect can result in major consequences.

There are many considerations that go into picking an executor. Some of these considerations include:

  • Relationships. Should the executor be a family member or an outsider such as a trust company? Family members can feel burdened by the responsibility of being an executor but may understand a family's needs better than an outsider.
  • The number of executors. Naming multiple executors may help adult children feel like equals, but might also breed fights or resentment.
  • Cost. Will the executor pocket a hefty percentage of the estate or will they be paid an hourly rate?

The executor is just one part of a balanced estate plan, and individuals considering appointing an executor or building an estate plan should consult with an experienced estate planner.

Source: New York Times, "Choosing the Right Executor for Your Estate," Deborah L. Jacobs, 3/3/11

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information

Mr. Teiger, Thank you very much for your time and results. I will definitely recommend you & your firm to anyone who wants to be treated professionally courteously and needs results.Hope all is well.Again...thank you. Regards, Paul L.

msg iconEmail Us For a Response

When you have legal questions or concerns, contact our team at Teiger Law Center, P.C., by calling 678-374-7645, 800-780-2275 or reach us via email by completing our online contact form. From our Cumming and Alpharetta law offices, we represent clients in the Atlanta metro and throughout north Georgia.

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information
disclaimer.

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.

close

Privacy Policy

Cumming Office
514 West Maple Street
Suite 101
Cumming, GA 30040

Toll Free: 866-726-2153
Phone: 678-374-7645
Fax: 770-406-8858
Cumming Law Office Map

Alpharetta Office
12600 Deerfield Parkway, Suite 100
Alpharetta, GA 30004

Toll Free: 800-780-2275
Phone: 678-374-7645
Fax: 770-406-8858
Map & Directions

Review Us