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Who should be the executor of my estate plan?

On Behalf of | May 20, 2024 | Estate Planning

A will is an estate planning document used to handle your affairs after you have passed away. In addition to specifying which beneficiaries will receive which of your assets, you may name an executor to handle your estate. The court will likely approve the person you name as executor fairly quickly, as long as no one challenges the choice you made.

What is the role of an executor?

An executor will serve as the person in charge of your estate after you pass away. The executor will be responsible for:

  • Obtain a copy of the death certificate.
  • Locating the will and filing a copy of it with the probate court.
  • Collecting all assets belonging to the decedent estate and creating an inventory.
  • Notifying creditors, beneficiaries, and other parties of the death.
  • Pay taxes on behalf of the estate.
  • Paying off creditors and distributing remaining assets to beneficiaries, as the deceased intended.

Who should serve as your executor?

In Illinois, there are only a few requirements for being an executor. Your executor must be:

  • A legal adult (18 years old or older) who is ‘of sound mind.’
  • A resident of the United States.
  • Not in prison.

The person you choose as executor will have a fiduciary duty to put the interests of your estate and your beneficiaries ahead of their own personal interests. Therefore, it is important to choose someone you trust to adhere to your wishes and is organized and responsible enough to take on such an important responsibility.

Many people decide to choose a family member or friend to handle their affairs. However, choosing a lawyer who specializes in estate planning, or a banking institution, may be more beneficial, as they will likely have the financial and legal knowledge and resources to handle any issues that arise.