One of the most important considerations when selecting an executor for your estate is to ensure that your chosen executor can effectively complete the tasks required, and/or has the capacity to learn.
While you do need to be able to trust your executor, you also need to choose a levelheaded and diplomatic executor, it's essential that he or she will be able to navigate the following duties:
- Complete and submit papers to the court to begin probate proceedings and validate the will.
- Inventory all assets that belong to the estate.
- Account for all debts owed by the estate.
- Gather assets and funds owned by the estate to satisfy debts and bills related to taxes, funeral expenses and more.
- Close credit cards and advise banks and government agencies of the death.
- File income tax returns.
- Distribute remaining assets to beneficiaries as per the instructions in the will.
While you might consider the above responsibilities fairly straightforward and easy to complete, that doesn't mean they'll be easy for your chosen executor. Make sure that you discuss these responsibilities with your executor to determine whether both his or her willingness and ability to complete them. Also, make your own personal evaluation of your executor to make your final decision.
If you're not entirely sure about your available executors, you may want to have a professional carry out these duties. Many Tennessee estate planners select a trusted estate attorney, accountant or banker to complete these responsibilities after they're gone. This could be an excellent strategy to ensure that your plans for your estate are followed in a responsible and trustworthy fashion.