Don’t gloss over the selection of executor or personal representative in your estate. This is the person who will carry out the wishes outlined in your will and this might also be the same person who, if named in your power of attorney documents, is able to make important decisions on your behalf if you become incapacitated. Your estate, at a general level, refers to everything you own at the time you pass away, including your possessions, your real estate and your financial accounts.
Your will and other components of your estate plan are crafted to ensure that your wishes are carried out at death and also to put some protections in place for other end of life considerations. Without a will and a solid estate plan, the courts will determine who receives your assets. The courts may also determine who takes care of your minor children without a will.
Consider the role of executor as one of the first and most important ones you need to establish. This is the person who handles everything from filing your will with the area court to paying off your debts, closing any accounts in your name and ensuring that your remaining assets are distributed within your will. This person needs to be organized as well as trustworthy and be able to juggle their own life responsibilities while fulfilling this role.
An average of 16 months is required to settle most estates, although those with fewer assets will settle faster. A knee jerk reaction might be to install multiple co-executors on your estate but remember that they will need to work together and get along. Discuss your expectations.
Furthermore, you will also need to draft two separate documents for your powers of attorney: one for finances and one for health care decisions. You might name the same person as the executor of your will but talk this over with your estate planning attorney to make sure it makes sense. Contact our Michigan estate planning law office today.