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What will your will's executor need to do?

People often take a long time to decide who they want as the executor of their will. In many cases, the job goes to a child, but therein lies a serious problem. If you have multiple children, which one do you choose? What if you do not think any of the children are really cut out for the task at hand?

It's not always as easy as you'd assume, and you need to make the right choice if you want your estate plan to be carried out smoothly.

To start, take a look at some of the tasks that this individual will need to do. Understanding what the job entails can help you pick the right person for that job. He or she may need to:

  • Go through all of your assets and take inventory to make sure it matches the will.
  • Properly file any court papers that are necessary to get the probate process underway.
  • Work with the court to ensure that the will is valid.
  • Pay off any funeral costs, taxes and other bills that you still owe with the funds from your estate.
  • Properly deal with assets not being passed directly to others. For instance, this could include selling the house so that the proceeds can be split.
  • Tell various institutions about your passing, such as banks, credit card companies, the post office and the Social Security agency.
  • File your last income tax return.
  • Gather assets and distribute them in accordance with the will.

As you draft your will and set up your estate plan, make sure you know all of the legal options you have and what steps to take to name the proper executor.

Source: Huffington Post, "How to Choose the Right Executor for Your Will," Jim T. Miller, accessed March 08, 2018

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