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Choosing an executor and other estate planning tasks

On Behalf of | Aug 30, 2021 | Estate Planning & Administration |

There are several things that come with being the executor of an estate. It’s crucial to select the most qualified person for the job when organizing your estate plan. If you are a Pennsylvania resident and are preparing your will, here are some important things to know about this issue.

What to look for in an executor

When you’re trying to find an executor, you should look for three main characteristics. The executor should be willing to do the job, have the ability to handle any unique situations, and is often a close friend or family member.

However, you may have to look outside your family circle to find someone who can help you complete the estate planning process. You should make sure the executor is someone you can trust and has your best interests at heart. In many cases, an institution such as a trusted company or a bank can fulfill these responsibilities. Bear in mind, though, that unlike when you choose a friend or relative, this type of executor will likely charge a fee, which will reduce the size of your estate and thus the amount that your beneficiaries can receive.

Ensure your assets have beneficiaries

In addition, when you’re in the estate planning process, you need to make sure that each of your assets has a designated beneficiary. More than likely, assets like your life insurance policy and retirement account already have a beneficiary. However, if you have assets such as a savings account, you’ll need to designate someone to oversee the account if you pass away or become incapacitated. You’ll need to fill out a POD (payable on death) form to clearly assign your assets to a particular party. You can also assign a beneficiary to other large assets such as your home.

It’s also important to review the list of beneficiaries you’ve chosen to ensure they are up to date and reflect your wishes. Remember that the names listed will supersede a conflicting provision in your will.