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Modern Estate Planning Blog

Elder Law & Special Needs Planning

Sacramento Probate Attorney Tackles The Role of Estate Administrator and How to Choose

September 7, 2010

As a Sacramento probate attorney, I can honestly say that selecting the executor of your estate is one of the most critical decisions you will make when getting your end-of-life affairs in order. Many people have not even thought about who could fill this important role in overseeing their affairs and often choose close relatives when finally pushed to narrow down a few select people.

But, as I take the time to fully explain the roles and responsibilities of the executor during our Peace of Mind Planning Sessions (you can learn how to schedule your own session for free at the end of this article), I find that most people wisely decide to change their mind.

That’s simply because the executor of your estate will make sure that everything runs smoothly after your death. And for that reason, many people don’t realize that the role of the executor is much more complex than it looks like on its surface.

For example, some of the things that your executor will be responsible for include:

  • Collecting and inventorying your assets
  • Paying off your remaining debts
  • Paying your taxes and administrative expenses associated with your estate
  • Distributing the remaining assets to the beneficiaries that you named in your estate plan

The skills and personality of this person should also be considered. The executor of your estate should be extremely organized, have the ability to deal with the pressure of family members who may not be happy with how the estate was handled, and of course, be entirely honest.

Once you have identified the person that you want to name as executor of your estate, I then recommend interviewing them for the position– much as you would a job applicant. Make sure they completely understand the roles and responsibilities, as well as any family issues that might arise during the process. You should also get their explicit permission before naming them as your executor to ensure they want, and feel as though they can handle, the job.

If you need help deciding who should be your executor, feel free to call me, your neighborhood Sacramento probate attorney, for a free Peace of Mind Planning Session (normally $750). I will personally take the time to walk you through the process of selecting your executor, as well as all of the other critical decisions that need to be made. Simply call (916) 241-9661 to get started!

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Thanks for holding my hand. So glad you made things easier for me. I really don't know how I would have understood any of this without your knowledge.

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