An executor is someone who is typically named in another person's will who takes care of the final wishes and distribution of assets as set forth by the deceased. It can be difficult to make decisions about your death, but appointing a responsible executor can help you execute your final wishes according to your will.
Choosing Your Executor
Your executor will be responsible for attending probate proceedings, distributing your assets as laid out in your will, paying off bills and taxes for the estate, and maintaining your property until probate has concluded.
You want to choose someone who is responsible and organized enough to handle the legal process and distribution of assets in an honest and upfront way. Many people often choose their spouse, children, or a close sibling as their executor. It is beneficial to choose someone who lives near you and can attend court hearings or other matters regarding the will. After choosing your executor, discuss your plans with them thoroughly so they know where your records are kept and have an idea of your wishes.
Are There Restrictions About Who Can Be My Executor?
Virtually anyone over the age of 18 can be your executor. Arizona law states that your executor must also be an Arizona resident, although other states' laws will vary. There may also be an appeals process in your state to name an out-of-state executor. Many states also restrict the ability to appoint a felon.
Your executor does not need to be a family member, although you may want to be cautious of the family dynamic and any resulting tension as a result of naming a friend or other unrelated party as your executor. Any resulting disputes among your family can make the probate process more difficult.
Naming an alternate executor may seem unnecessary, but it can help you make sure your will is properly handled if the original executor cannot execute your will or declines the responsibility once the time comes. If there is no alternate executor named in the will, the court will appoint one.
Holland Law is your local authority for wills and trusts. We provide legal assistance to customers in Flagstaff, Prescott, Prescott Valley, Sedona, Cottonwood, Snowflake, White Mountains, Sholoh, and St. John's. Don't leave your decisions up to chance and make sure your wishes are documented. Contact us today to start your estate planning.