What to know about choosing an executor

If assets are retained in your Delaware estate at the time of your death, they will likely be subject to probate. An individual will be appointed to represent the estate during this proceeding. Typically, the judge overseeing your case will appoint the person named in your will assuming that you created one. Otherwise, the judge will appoint the person who is seemingly best suited to fill the role.

What are the executor’s key responsibilities?

The executor who is named in your will is responsible for inventorying assets and providing notice to creditors that you have passed away. Furthermore, this person is responsible for reaching out to friends, family members or anyone who may be entitled to a piece of your estate. The executor must also keep track of how your estate’s funds are used throughout the process of settling your affairs. A final report will likely need to be submitted to the court before a probate proceeding can be closed. Finally, this estate representative will oversee the transfer of assets to their intended recipients.

What are the requirements to be an estate representative?

Any adult who is of sound mind can be an estate representative. It may be a good idea to appoint an alternate executor in the event that your first choice is unable or unwilling to serve in such a role. This may also be worthwhile in the event that an executor withdraws from the position after probate begins.

It’s important to note that an estate administration attorney may be able to represent your estate if you don’t have any friends or family members capable of doing so. It’s also worth noting that an executor is allowed to hire legal counsel to assist during a will contest or to otherwise avoid critical mistakes.

Appointing an executor is typically one of the most important decisions you’ll make when creating your estate plan. Generally speaking, those who pay attention to details, have adequate people skills and have sufficient time to devote to settling your affairs are the best candidates for this position.