MacDonald Law, P.C.

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Why Does My Estate Need an Executor?

Apr 5, 2022 | Estate Planning

Writing a will and setting up trusts for your heirs is only one part of estate planning in Michigan. You also need to name an executor to oversee your estate after your passing. However, do you know what an executor does and why it’s essential to designate the right person?

What is an executor?

An executor is your personal representative who ensures that the contents of your will, representing your final wishes, are carried out. Executors oversee the estate from the time of your passing until probate is complete. Estate planning consists of designating your assets, like bank accounts, investments, personal items, cars, real estate and more, to specific heirs.

After your passing, your executor will manage and protect estate assets, pay debts and taxes and notify and transfer assets to heirs. Executors are needed for all estates, not just those with considerable assets. You must take care when selecting your executor to ensure your wishes are met. Certain people, such as minors or convicted felons, cannot serve as executors.

Spouses, children or grandchildren are typical choices, but the designated person should be someone you trust. If your estate is complicated, you may want to choose a company that professionally manages estates.

The executor’s job can be difficult

Drafting a proper estate plan can protect your legacy and help your heirs avoid excessive probate issues. However, even in the best of circumstances, the executor’s job can be drawn out and complicated. Discuss the tasks with your intended executor to make sure that they are willing to take on the job.

You can change executors, as well as estate plans, anytime during your life. What works one year may not work the next. Continue to periodically review your plans to ensure that they meet your needs.