Tuesday, 7 November 2017
When making your will, you may be stumped about who to choose as your executor, or even what an executor is exactly.
In simple terms, the executor of an estate is someone who is named in a will to carry out the terms and decisions of the will according to your desires. An executor is also called a personal representative in some states.
Choosing an executor is one of the most important decisions you'll make for your estate to ensure the process of managing your estate goes smoothly.
An executor can be a trusted family member or friend, preferably someone who is in good health and is skilled in financial matters. Some states require the individual appointed as executor of an estate to be a resident of the same state. If you have someone in mind who lives out-of-state, contact your county clerk to find out what your options are.
When selecting an executor, here are some questions to consider:
Banks with a trust department and trust companies can also provide executor services for a fee and alleviate any tension or concerns about selecting a friend of family member.
"Estates with assets of $2 million or more are likely to have complex tax issues and special assets which require significant time and attention during the estate administration process," says Donette Stubblefield, BBVA Compass Houston wealth market executive and former chief fiduciary officer.
"Such a large time commitment is often difficult for an individual who must balance fulfilling the duties of an executor with his or her own personal and professional obligations," she says. "A corporate executor has both the broad experience, and the time, to administer the estate with full attention to all aspects of the administration."
An executor is a legal representative for your estate. As such, they can be found personally liable if they mismanage the estate in a way that results in a loss for its beneficiaries. The responsibilities typically include:
Stubblefield offered a few examples of what an executor should NOT do. For instance, Stubblefield says:
Appointing an executor is an important decision — regardless of the size of your estate. Knowing that a qualified person is managing your affairs can give you and your beneficiaries peace of mind.
The content provided is for informational purposes only. Neither BBVA Compass, nor any of its affiliates, is providing legal, tax, or financial advice. You should consult your legal, tax, or financial advisor about your personal situation. Opinions expressed are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the opinions of BBVA Compass or any of its affiliates.
|Securities and Insurance Products:|
|ARE NOT DEPOSITS||ARE NOT FDIC INSURED|
|ARE NOT BANK GUARANTEED||MAY LOSE VALUE|
|ARE NOT INSURED BY ANY FEDERAL GOVERNMENT AGENCY|
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