Georgia Estate Planning: How To Avoid Choosing The Wrong Executor
At a young age Americans are taught about sharing because we won’t let other children play with our toys. Furthermore, adults hire housesitters to fend off would-be intruders and parents interview babysitters before going out for a night on the town – we protect what is ours at every stage in our lives. As a result, it is shocking that some people fail to protect their property and other assets at death.
Proper estate planning, regardless of a person’s means, is essential to preserving wealth accumulated throughout his or her life. Once a person has developed an estate plan – considering he or she will be unable to administer his or her own estate – he or she must carefully consider who will be the executor of his or her estate.
Who Should Be Your Executor?
If an executor was not selected during the life of the recently deceased, one will be appointed by the court. The executor is given the legal responsibility of administering a person’s estate and resolving any remaining financial responsibilities left behind.
This is a large responsibility that, depending on an estate’s characteristics, could last for several years. In light of this, it is vital that the proper executor be named, especially considering that he or she is trusted with distributing a person’s assets, paying bills or taxes for the estate, as well as making court appearances.
As not everyone is equipped to administer an estate through probate, it is helpful to know the characteristics that personify an ideal executor:
- Honest: Trusting someone with what someone leaves behind demands honesty and integrity within that person.
- Responsible: Probate involves many deadlines, so an executor should be organized and reliable.
- Disinterested: To avoid the appearance of favoritism and to prevent potential family tension, it is recommended to have someone who has little interest in the estate itself.
Individuals should consult an experienced estate planning attorney to develop an appropriate estate plan and discuss their executor options. Additionally, it is recommended to have a qualified estate administration attorney guide your executor through the probate process as most executors are unfamiliar with probate law.