Understand the role of an executor before estate planning

Most Nevada residents are aware that the will is often considered the cornerstone of any estate plan. As such, the person who will serve as the executor of the will needs to be trustworthy and willing to serve. It might help those who are engaged in estate planning to understand the role of an executor before appointing one.

The three main duties of an executor are to assemble all of the decedent’s assets, pay his or her bills and then distribute the remaining assets of the estate in accordance with the terms of the will. This person will be going through a Nevada resident’s home, papers and accounts. Unless someone else has intimate knowledge of everything the decedent owns, the executor must be trusted to perform these tasks honestly and with full disclosure.

The executor might also need to be able to deal with disgruntled family members. Sometimes, the decedent fails to inform heirs regarding how the estate is to be distributed, or an heir decides to contest the will after death. If the situation cannot be resolved peacefully and in accordance with the will, it might be necessary to have the court rule on contested issues.

These are just some of the reasons why the choice of an executor is one of the most crucial decisions in estate planning. Once someone has been selected, it is a good idea to be sure ahead of time that the person is willing to serve in this capacity. It is often a time-consuming — and sometimes thankless — job, and if the person refuses to serve, it could greatly complicate matters for surviving family members.

Source: thestreet.com, “You Are Executor of an Estate — Now What?“, Mark Henricks, March 18, 2016

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