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Should I choose one of my children to be executor of my will?

Choosing the right executor of your will is just as important as creating the will itself. The role of the executor is to manage your estate and make sure that your final wishes are carried out. The person you choose needs to be able to handle these responsibilities.

Many people choose one of their children to be executor, and often, those chosen are the eldest. But before you automatically name your oldest child to the post, there are several things about an executor's duties you should consider.

During the estate planning process, make your decisions based on logic and reason, and leave the emotion out of it. Be absolutely certain that the person you choose as executor will be able to handle the responsibilities.

Duties of an executor

The number one function of your executor is to ensure that your estate is distributed to your beneficiaries promptly without inciting animosity among family members.

The executor must also file the necessary court documents to start the probate process, inventory the estate and pay any lingering expenses after your death.

The executor must notify your bank and government agencies that you have passed away, then file your final personal tax return, as well as that of your estate.

Considering the complicated duties and the level of access to your estate, it is vital that you choose someone who is honest, dependable and able to shoulder the responsibilities.

Choosing the right person

You may feel exceedingly confident that one of your children can handle these duties. However, if you are less than certain, you can choose a close friend, relative or a third party like a bank or trust company. Experienced estate planning attorneys are also good choices. Neutral third parties are usually more appropriate if you feel there is a conflict of interest or family members who are likely to contest your will.

No matter who you choose, be sure that you consult that individual first. If your first choice agrees, take the time to go over your financial details and inform that person where they can find a copy of your will and your financial documents.

Estate planning does not just involve leaving instructions for the distributions of your assets among your heirs. It also involves choosing the right person to follow those instructions. Ensure your final wishes are honored by creating a last will and testament . Contact a local Florida attorney with experience in estate planning and start the process today.

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