An executor is a person who carries out the deceased’s wishes after death. They play a key role in estate planning and choosing one is an important part of the process.
No one enjoys the process of planning for their death, but anyone can benefit from not only creating an estate plan but also appointing an executor. CNBC gives some helpful tips when it comes to choosing the person who executes the will.
What does an executor do?
The executor does many jobs. Everything from paying off leftover debts to closing accounts and distributing assets falls under the job of the executor. Some assets like life insurance policies and retirement accounts go to the beneficiary named on the policy or account rather than through a will, so the executor does not handle those.
How long does it take to execute an estate plan?
On average, it takes 16 months to completely settle an estate. Smaller estates are quicker to settle, while those worth more than $5 million can take up to three or four years. It is important when choosing an executor that the person will stick with it until the end.
As estates settle and family members deal with the death of a loved one, emotions often run high. This can lead to arguments that would not normally occur. Because of this, it is important that the executor of a will is trustworthy, organized and level-headed.
It is also an option to appoint co-executors, although they should be people who get along with each other. No matter who the executor is, it is important to notify them before filing the official documents.