Arizonans who are either engaging in initial estate planning or revisiting an existing estate plan have a lot of important decisions to make. Not only do they need to consider how they want their assets to be distributed upon their death, but they have to be diligent about identifying their assets and choosing an individual to administer their estate when they are gone.
The job of estate executor is no small role. In fact, some professionals advise against naming a loved one to the position, as it can be overwhelmingly challenging. After all, there are a number of duties that an estate executor must carry out. The first amongst them is locating and valuating all of the estate’s property. This can be especially difficult if an individual held multiple bank accounts, owned multiple properties and/or has a significant amount of personal property. Once this step is completed, then an executor must wrap up the deceased individual’s affairs. This could include stopping government benefits, shutting off the cable and heat and paying taxes for the last year that the individual was alive.
That’s not all, either. An executor will have to ensure that creditors are paid before any beneficiaries receive their inheritance. This means that the executor will have to track down all beneficiaries and heirs named in the estate. While all of this is going on, the executor will also have to maintain certain aspects of the estate. For example, an executor may want to continue to pay the mortgage on the deceased individual’s home to retain that property within the estate.
As one can see, a trusted and competent person must serve as an estate executor. This means that those engaging in estate planning should carefully consider this element before moving forward. Those who choose not to name an administrator will likely have one appointed by the court. Discussing the matter with a qualified attorney who knows the ins and outs of this area of the law may prove beneficial for these estate planners.