When a last will and testament is drafted, usually the testator, the person drafting the document, selects an executor. While this may seem like an honor, the role of serving as an executor comes with numerous responsibilities. Their job is to make sure that property and possessions are properly distributed. While large estates usually require more work, even smaller estates can create headaches if not properly planned. Because of this, we recommend that you have conversations proactively with the people for whom you are the executor.
This conversation should allow you to become organized as to the details of their estate. While this starter checklist is not all-encompassing, it does provide a good starting place. There will always be more work to do after the testator passes.
- Review their last will and testament and know where they keep it.
- Review what real estate they own and where the deeds are located.
- Review what investment accounts they own and where they are held.
- IRAs, Roth IRAs, 401(k), Brokerage accounts, checking and savings, etc.
- Review what debt they own and when payments are made.
- Review retirement account beneficiary forms (IRAs, Roth IRAs, 401(k), etc)
- Review life insurance policy beneficiary forms
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.