Making end of life decisions is usually not on the top of most people’s to-do lists. However, it is important for people to decide how to divide up their estate and distribute assets.
One part of estate planning is to name an estate administrator. This person carries the responsibility of managing and closing the estate upon the death of the decedent, and it is a job that requires a certain skillset.
Depending on the specific estate, administering it can be a challenging task. FindLaw discusses some of the common duties an executor performs. Some are to find and inform beneficiaries; locate, valuate and distribute assets; pay bills and upkeep for the estate; make court appearances and file and pay taxes for the estate.
Qualities of an effective executor
Although it helps if the estate administrator has financial and legal knowledge, it is not necessary if the executor is willing to enlist the help of professionals. A good administrator should be honest and trustworthy. Other key qualities include communication and organization.
It helps if the estate administrator lives in close proximity, as some of the duties require frequent property maintenance, mail checking and court visits. Some people also recommend naming someone who will inherit a sizable amount of the property, as this often ensures the executor will handle the administration process in a timely manner.
Estate planning for those with no children
Many people name spouses, siblings or children as executors. However, CNBC discusses the challenges some people encounter when going through the estate planning process if there are no children and siblings and spouses may not be around upon death.
In terms of naming an estate administrator, a bank, accountant or attorney can be an executor. For those who do not know who to distribute their assets to, charitable contributions are some options.