When building out your estate plan, your number one priority may be designating the beneficiaries who are to inherit your assets. But you must not forget about the equally important task of designating an executor. Follow along to find out how to decide who should be the executor of your estate and how a proficient New York City estate planning attorney at Zimmet Law Group, P.C. can help you in making this decision.
How do I decide who should be the executor of my estate?
First of all, your executor will essentially serve as your personal representative when you, unfortunately, pass on. With this, they may administer your estate to your designated beneficiaries in accordance with your established wishes.
The two most important factors that you must consider when designating an executor are: that the individual is at least 18 years of age or older and that the individual is mentally and physically capable of administering the estate. While the age requirement is pretty straightforward, the capacity requirement is pretty broad. Nonetheless, your potential executor may be incapable of taking on this duty if any of the following apply:
- Your potential executor has been diagnosed with a mental illness.
- Your potential executor has been diagnosed with an intellectual disability.
- Your potential executor has been diagnosed with a communication disability.
- Your potential executor has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease or dementia.
- Your potential executor is comatose.
What happens if I do not designate an executor?
It is also worth mentioning that the role of an executor carries great responsibility. So you must assign someone who you not only trust with the responsibility but who is also willing to take on this responsibility. That said, if your executor comes forward to the court and expresses that they no longer want this responsibility, they may be relieved from their duties.
And when your original executor steps down, this is when your backup executor may step up to this role. The court may also go ahead and call for the backup executor to take the reigns if they believe that your original executor is engaging in fraudulent activity or otherwise failing at fulfilling their duties.
But if you did not disclose a backup executor in your estate plan, then a family member, friend, or another interested party may come forward and petition the court to become the executor. And if nobody comes forward, then the court may assign an individual to serve as an executor on their own accord.
As you may likely conclude yourself, your estate plan is important and requires immediate action. So you should not hesitate in reaching out to a talented New York City estate planning attorney at Zimmet Law Group, P.C.