The estate planning process is going to culminate in the administration of the estate. When you use a last will to direct future asset transfers, you name an executor, and this is the person who will be handling the estate administration tasks after you pass away.
There is a common misconception with regard to the estate administration process. You may imagine the executor calling family members into a study for a “reading of the will.” The suggestion is that the executor can follow the instructions in the will and distribute property more or less immediately.
This is not the way that it works. The executor must admit the will to probate, and the estate must be probated before the heirs can receive their inheritances. Estate administration duties are handled by the executor, but in New York, the Surrogate’s Court supervises the administration of the estate.
Choosing an Executor
During probate, the executor will pay final debts, including final taxes. Government agencies and creditors must be notified about the decedent’s death, and bank and credit card accounts must be closed.
The property that comprises the estate must be identified and inventoried. The will must be examined to determine who gets what as it were, and the property must be prepared for distribution to the heirs that are named in the last will.
Along the way, anyone who has questions about the way that the estate is being administered would direct them toward the executor, so the individual that you choose should be an effective and patient communicator.
Clearly, the executor should be a person of integrity with a good bit of business acumen. Depending on the nature of the circumstances, administering an estate can be time-consuming, so you should make sure that the person that you choose is willing to assume the role.
Geography and longevity are two other factors to consider. You want to be reasonably sure that the executor will be around to administer your estate after your passing, and ideally, the executor should live in your area.
Professional Estate Administrator
If you do not know someone personally that would be an appropriate executor, all is not lost. There are professional fiduciaries that can be engaged to handle the estate administration tasks, and this can be the right choice for some people.
Learn More About Estate Administration
We have prepared a series of comprehensive special reports that examine several different facets of the process of estate administration. You should certainly absorb this knowledge before you devise your estate plan.
The reports are free to our readers, and you can visit this page to access your copy: Reports on Estate Administration.
Attend a Free Workshop
Our attorneys are holding a series of workshops over the coming weeks, and we are especially excited about the material that we will be presenting to attendees. There is no charge, so you have everything to gain and nothing to lose if you sit in on one of these sessions.
We do ask that you register in advance so that we know how many people to expect. To see the dates, visit our workshop schedule page. When you identify the session that works for you, click on it and follow the simple instructions to register. We look forward to meeting you soon!
Take the Ultimate Step
Executing the appropriate documents is a large part of the estate planning equation, but you should also make sure that your wishes will be carried out in an efficient manner after you are gone. If you plan your estate effectively, you can provide a turnkey situation for your loved ones.
We can help if you are ready to take action. Our firm offers free consultations, and you can get in touch with us through our contact page to request a consultation appointment, and we can be reached by phone at 585-374-5210.
- How Estate Planning for a Family May Trap the Unwary Practitioner - August 31, 2022
- State Income Taxation of Social Security Benefits - August 24, 2022
- Understanding Tax Apportionment Clauses - August 17, 2022