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How to choose the right executor for your will

Creating a well-crafted and comprehensive will is an important step within the estate planning process. However, it is not the only requirement to ensure that a Tennessee resident's assets are properly distributed upon his or her death. In order to have the instructions laid out within a will followed, it is necessary to select the right executor.

The executor of a will has a number of responsibilities. He or she will be tasked with filing the will with the proper probate court, which will initiate the probate process. Next, any outstanding debts held by the estate will need to be settled. The executor is also responsible for protecting the estate while the probate process plays out, so that all of the assets discussed within the will are intact and available for distribution to the named heirs.

In selecting an executor, it is important to choose an individual who is trustworthy. Equally important is finding someone who is both able and willing to carry out the duties that accompany the role. Choosing someone who is already overwhelmed with his or her own family or work demands could lead to problems. Serving as an executor requires a significant input of time and effort, and not everyone has the ability to meet those obligations.

When considering who to appoint as the executor of one's will, Tennessee residents should set aside some time to meet with that individual and discuss the expectations. This will give the candidate an idea of what the role entails, and give him or her a chance to decline if those duties might be too much. If the chosen party agrees to serve as executor, having a series of in-depth conversations about the estate plan can help him or her handle those duties if and when the time comes.

Source:, "Experience and training make the difference in estate planning", Aug. 9, 2015

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