Chances are, whoever you named as the executor of your estate in your estate plan is a close friend or family member. As such, you don’t want them to have to endure more stress and hassle than necessary while they administer your estate, especially since they will be mourning your loss at the same time. Here are some things that you can do right now to make their job much easier when the time comes.
Organize your assets and debts
Part of your executor’s legal duties involve gathering all of your assets, and then paying your debts and taxes out of your estate before distributing the rest to your beneficiaries according to the terms of your will.
If your executor has to spend time hunting down your assets, sifting through your documents and making phone calls to find every bank account, investment, retirement account and debtor that you may have, it can add considerably to the time it takes to close out your estate.
You can make this process easier by staying organized. Prepare an exhaustive list of all of your intangible assets – including account numbers, passwords and other information necessary to access them. Make sure that your executor knows where to find these lists when you are no longer with them.
Have an open conversation
Often, an executor finds themselves wishing that they could speak with their deceased family member in order to clarify ambiguous or confusing instructions in the estate plan. Even the most well thought out estate plan can have holes in it, and these holes can be a source of great stress for executors.
It could be an excellent idea to sit down with your executor now, while you are still alive, and go through your estate plan together. That way, your executor can ask you any questions they may have, and you can make sure that they will carry out your wishes as you intend.
No one wants their family members to suffer unnecessarily after their death. By taking certain steps now, you can help to ensure that your probate process will go as smoothly as possible.