A critical component of an effective estate plan is naming someone to be your executor. Without a trusted individual to oversee the closure of your estate, your plan may lack the support to work the way you intended.
Approaching someone about his or her willingness to manage your estate requires some forethought. Knowing how to formally and legally name an executor can help you finalize a plan you feel confident about.
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Closing an estate sounds a lot simpler than it is. Some of the tasks your executor may oversee includes the following:
- Obtaining a death certificate and other legal documentation
- Closing your personal bank accounts and investments
- Satisfying tax debts and other expenditures you owe
- Coordinating details for your funeral or memorial
- Distributing assets to your heirs
- Selling real estate and possessions
Each of these tasks requires time and basic knowledge of finances. As such, you will want someone who has the flexibility in his or her schedule to deal with matters related to your estate.
Disclose your expectations
You will also want to clearly disclose your expectations for handling your estate. According to AARP, talking about things plays a big role in gauging the interest of the person you have asked to help you. Your executor may feel much more confident when you proactively share important information and provide updates along the way. You may also consider talking to your family to give them an idea of what to expect as well. This way, you can encourage unity so everyone can support each other after your death.
If you find the need to change your executor later in life, make sure you see that all of your legal documents reflect this update. Failure to do so could result in disappointment later on.