Managing an estate in New York is not an easy job. The person you’ll appoint will have to initiate the probate process, notify your creditors, beneficiaries and other interested parties of your unfortunate passing, pay your debts and taxes and distribute your assets, etc. Therefore, finding the right person for this task is very important. While most people appoint an immediate family member or a close friend, there’s more you need to consider before looking to a close relative.
Responsibility and accountability
The job of an executor requires a great deal of paperwork, organization, decision-making and problem-solving; all of which can be quite daunting for someone who does not have experience with estate planning or legal documents nor has the time. An executor should be someone you trust, one who is responsible and can handle the pressure of a stressful situation. The person also must be reliable and organized enough to complete all the necessary tasks in a timely manner and within the boundaries of legality.
The person appointed should also demonstrate a high degree of integrity. They will be responsible for handling funds properly and ensure they pay all taxes on time and sort creditors’ claims amicably. Whenever an executor is dishonest or negligent, it can lead to significant problems and delays.
Consider someone with a good financial standing
People who have declared bankruptcy, individuals with no credit history, or those who have existing liens may not be the best choice. The reason is that they can’t get bonded. Bonding is a type of insurance that protects the estate and its beneficiaries. In New York, courts will often require the executor to buy a bond before they can begin their duties.
Someone without a conflict of interest
Finally, you should also look into appointing someone who doesn’t have a direct or indirect interest in your estate, such as family members and close friends. This helps eliminate any potential disputes and ensures that the executor can make unbiased decisions when it comes to distributing your assets and handling your property.
Finding an executor for your estate is a big decision. Consider conducting thorough research and examine all angles before selecting a candidate.