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What you should discuss with a prospective executor

Every adult in Frederick and throughout the U.S. should draft a will to express their final wishes. Estate planning doesn’t just involve drafting a will, though. The selection of an executor is an important part of this.

One of the most important decisions that you’ll have to make before you finalize your will is to select a personal representative or executor of your estate. They’ll be responsible for submitting your final tax return, paying off any outstanding debts you may owe when you die and also for distributing any remaining assets to your heirs.

You must carefully weigh you want to appoint to that role. You may even speak to your prospective executor before you write their name down in your will.

When you sit down with your prospective executor, you should be clear about how carrying out this responsibility is often a lengthy, involved process. You’ll need to tell them that they’ll likely end up traveling back and forth to the courthouse to submit various documents. You’ll need to let them know that they’ll spend a lot of time on the phone settling up accounts. Whoever you select for this role must be committed to seeing this process through.

You may want to vet any prospective executors that you have in mind. by creating a list of pros and cons associated with going with one versus another. You may want to select someone who has proven financial management skills. You may also find it helpful if the person that you appoint to this role has successfully served as a personal representative of an estate before.

It’s also important that you weigh the different personalities of prospective executors. The person that you appoint to the role will need to be rational. They’ll need to be able to listen to information and make sense of it. They should be someone who’s not easily swayed, especially when heirs are emotional and make special requests of them.

There are a lot of factors that you must weigh before selecting the executor of your estate. An estate planning attorney can help you identify if your prospective personal representative has the necessary skills and knowledge to effectively carry out their role here in Maryland.