Estate planning is one of the most important things any adult can do to prepare for the unexpected. Everyone in Maryland should have at least a will in place. This document allows people to distribute their property to survivors, name a guardian for any children and name their executor. The executor is the one who carries out the instructions contained in the will. Understanding who executors are and what they do can help you pick a good one.
What an executor does
An executor will work with the court during the probate process to manage an estate and distribute its assets. Executors will write checks from the decedent’s account to pay the mortgage, utilities and other expenses attached to the estate. Executors themselves are usually paid via commission.
Choosing the right one
Picking a trustworthy executor to carry out estate administration is often a challenge. The person who is chosen must be responsible, financially solvent and able to be bonded and approved by the court. Often, high-net-worth people choose professionals. For young people and average earners, the executor chosen may be a child, sibling or trusted friend.
Picking the right executor is partly about the individual’s personality. The right executor will have the patience to deal with the probate process. They’ll be able to act as a true fiduciary and put the decedent’s wishes ahead of their own.
If you need help with estate planning and choosing an executor, it may be a good idea to consult a lawyer. An experienced attorney may be able to help you during estate planning and even refer you to other professionals, like financial advisors or accountants, who are also helpful in the process.