When you die, you leave an estate behind you that consists of the property that you accumulated while living. You need someone to administer the estate to make sure that your wishes for your property are heeded. The person who administers your estate is called the executor.
The executor of your estate may perform the following functions:
- Winding down the affairs of your estate
- Selling property as necessary to distribute to the beneficiaries
- Paying off debts to creditors
- Filing your final income tax return
- Issuing notices of death
When you make your will, you will appoint an executor at the same time. This is a person who you know and trust. Not only do they need to be familiar with what you want, but they must also have the skill and know-how to handle the distribution of your property. The executor could be responsible for selling assets and distributing the proceeds. You can appoint a family member as the executor or anyone else who you trust implicitly. You should have a conversation with the person you are considering for this role to ensure that they are up to the task.
It is always better for you to appoint the executor of your estate on your own. If you die without a will (and without an executor), the court will appoint one on your behalf. Then, you lose some control over what happens to your assets. The executor would need to comply with state laws that govern what happens when someone dies intestate.
Contact a Rolling Meadows Estate Planning Lawyer
If you do not have a will, you need one today as part of a comprehensive estate plan. The attorneys at Charles T Newland & Associates can help. Send us a message online or call us at 847.797.9300 to discuss your estate plan.