There are a number of different ways that you can transfer assets to your loved ones after you pass away, and as we all know the last will is the most well understood and commonly utilized vehicle of asset transfer. When you do decide to use a will to state your wishes your estate will have to pass through the process of probate. This is a legal process that takes place under the supervision of the probate or surrogate court. So when you are drawing up your will you have to understand that it should be done with the realities of probate in mind. It is not simply going to be read in an informal manner and passed around between your family members.
When you are adding content to your last will one of the tasks that you must undertake is that of appointing an executor who is willing and able to take on the responsibility. It is important to recognize the fact that this is not a ceremonial title that you bestow upon someone as an honor. The executor is going to have a lot of important hands-on tasks to take care of, and many of these will require a considerable amount of business savvy.
For example, the executor may retain the services of a probate attorney, and in many cases a tax accountant, an appraiser or appraisers, and an estate liquidation concern may also be necessary. Final bills must be paid, tax responsibilities must be addressed, and assets must be inventoried and readied for distribution to your heirs in accordance with the terms that you set forth in the last will document.
When you consider all of the above you can see that the work of the executor is also going to be somewhat time-consuming and this is another thing to consider. The suggestion here is to choose carefully when you select your executor. If you do not know someone personally who is a good candidate it is possible to retain the services of an experienced professional executor who has a thorough knowledge of the probate and estate administration process.
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