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Tips on choosing an executor for a will

There are several important aspects to a creating a complete estate plan. The creation of a will is the foundation of a carefully considered plan. However, it is not always the final step. Many in Georgia often choose to name an executor for their estate, who will help ensure that their wishes are carried out.

Typically, an executor is named by a person in his or her will. However, an executor can also be appointed by the court if one is not specifically designated in a person's will. Typical responsibilities for the chosen person include paying bills and taxes for the estate, distributing assets in accordance to the will, maintaining property and appearing in court on behalf of the estate.

When choosing an executor, people often select their spouse, children or siblings. While selecting someone for his or her honesty is important, other virtues such as organizational skills and communication abilities can play vital roles as well. In addition, it may be important to consider family dynamics and the executor's physical location.

When people name an executor, many also name an alternative executor. Even if the first-named executor is aware of his or her designation and has agreed to it, he or she may decline the responsibility when the time arises for them to assume responsibility. If this happens and no alternate has been designated, the court will then choose an executor, which could result in unintended consequences.

When choosing an executor for their estate, most people in Georgia discuss their selection criteria with an attorney who is experienced in will and estate planning. There can be significant ramifications in choosing the wrong person to oversee a person's estate and wishes after he or she has passed away. Attorneys can assist in the best selection based upon their client's goals.

Source: FindLaw, "Choosing the Executor FAQ", Accessed on Aug. 23, 2016

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