An executor is the person that is in charge of making sure that what you said in your will actually happens. Knowing the responsibilities of an executor helps in two ways. First, it helps you better understand the type of person that you should choose to carry out your estate wishes. Second, it helps you understand what you’re signed up for if you are listed as someone’s executor.
I suggest that you ask your family who they have listed as their executor because it might be you! You would be surprised how many times we have had a client be surprised that their brother-in-law chose them and never communicated it to them! If this is the case, you want to make sure they are organized now so you aren’t left organizing long after they’re gone. In some cases, this can be not days or weeks of work, but months and years.
-When was the last time they updated their will?
-Have they updated their beneficiary forms for retirement accounts, life insurance, annuities, etc?
-Have they written down passwords for online accounts?
-Have they organized their bills (when it is paid and from which account)?
-Are there valuables not held at a bank such as cash, jewelry, etc?
There are many more questions that will come up as you start the conversation. Once they understand the responsibility that they are giving you, they should be more than willing to discuss these details with you.
Disclaimer: Alex Voorhees and Reston Wealth Management do not provide legal, accounting or tax advice. This information is not intended to be a substitute for specific individualized legal advice. We suggest that you discuss your specific situation with an estate attorney. The opinions voiced in this article are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual. To determine which strategies may be appropriate for you, consult your financial advisor and other appropriate professionals, such as an estate attorney.