When you die, the court will follow the terms outlined in your will when distributing your assets. But you need someone to carry out this process and to ensure everything goes according to your pre-determined plans.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the person responsible for carrying out the terms outlined in your will and overseeing your estate, in general, is your executor. You choose this person, typically when you put together your will and your other estate planning documents.
Duties of an executor
After you die, there are many tasks that your executor will need to oversee and complete. For example, your executor will need to locate all of your named assets and manage them until distribution to your heirs. Your executor must also determine who will inherit what property, handle the day-to-day details of managing your estate, file the will with probate court, if needed, pay taxes on your estate and more.
Choosing an executor
Although you can choose whoever you would like to act as the executor of your estate, you should choose this representative carefully. Consider selecting someone who is responsible, financially knowledgeable and who will act in your best interests when fulfilling the terms included in your will.
As you get older and your life circumstances change, you can always name a different executor in your estate. Review your estate planning documents regularly and when you do this, decide if your current executor still complements your wishes or if you would like to name someone different as your estate’s representative.