When beginning an estate plan, Louisiana residents have many decisions to make, such as naming people as heirs for their assets, creating trusts and the like. One of the most important decisions involves who to name as the executor of a will. In addition to asking someone if they would like to act in this capacity, you should also look for specific characteristics that will make this individual an appropriate choice.
Who should I name as my executor?
Most people choose a relative or a close friend to act as the administrator of their estate. The person you choose should be someone who fully understands and respects your wishes and those of your heirs. The executor should also handle your sentimental and real property more sensitively than a paid professional.
During the estate planning process, consider whether your chosen individual is up to the task of handling your assets, especially if you have amassed considerable wealth. Your executor should also have the time to settle your estate, which generally takes six to nine months and be able to follow all state laws and probate court requirements. This individual should also have an even temperament to deal with heirs who may be unhappy about the assets allocated to them. They should also be well-organized and have financial or legal experience. The last requirements are optional, but an executor should have more than a basic understanding of these issues.
Establishing your estate plan
Naming an executor is just one part of your estate plan. Consider other elements, such as creating various types of trusts, designating beneficiaries for investment accounts and creating power of attorney for financial and healthcare concerns. The last document can also include end-of-life directives.
Keep in mind that estate planning is a fluid process. You can modify your terms at any time. If you don’t have a close friend or relative up to the task, you can name a professional or a bank to handle the job. Reviewing your estate plan every few years to ensure it meets your needs is also a good idea.