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One of the most important decisions you’ll make when writing your will is determining who should be named executor of your estate.
Even if you’re just leaving behind household goods and a small savings account, someone — whether appointed by you or the state court — must settle your affairs.
Some people consider it an honor — or duty — to take responsibility for ensuring that their loved one’s final wishes are carried out. But serving as an executor can be onerous and time-consuming, even for those with a strong financial or legal background. In a worst-case scenario, executors who act imprudently, or in violation of their duties can be sued by beneficiaries and creditors.
Plus, you’ll likely have to deal with the dreaded probate, a court-supervised process of locating and determining the value of the deceased’s assets, paying final bills and taxes, and distributing what’s left to the heirs.
Before you agree to serve as an estate’s executor, make sure you understand what will be required of you. Major responsibilities often include:
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