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how to choose the right executor or trustee

When it comes to finding the person to fill the role of an executor or trustee, you want to make sure you have the right individual for the task. These positions are very important. You need someone dependable, trustworthy, and capable of upholding their duties. If you are ready to make a decision for your trust or will, here are a few points you will want to consider. 

What You Need to Know About These Roles

An executor and a trustee have differing responsibilities in estate planning. An executor is appointed to manage and distribute the estate assets according to the will. They will:

  • Gather the deceased person’s assets
  • Pay off debts and taxes
  • Manage and distribute assets according to the directions specified in the will
  • File tax returns on behalf of the estate

Along with that, the executor is the main person for communicating with beneficiaries, creditors, and other stakeholders involved in the estate.

On the other hand, a trustee is appointed to manage the assets placed in a trust to benefit the beneficiaries. Their duties are slightly different; they will:

  • Manage the assets placed in a trust
  • Distribute the trust’s income and assets to the beneficiaries according to the terms of the trust. 

A trustee is also responsible for filing tax returns on behalf of the trust, communicating with beneficiaries, and maintaining accurate records of the trust’s activities.

What Are the Ideal Qualities in These Roles?

Since this is a very important role that deals with your money and other assets, you need to find someone trustworthy. After all, once you pass away, they will be responsible for managing your estate. 

Along with that, this person should have organizational skills and exceptional attention to detail. In this role, the executor and trustee must keep detailed records of all financial transactions and assets. 

Plus, they need to maintain documents that will be used in the legal process. If they are disorganized, it could lead to issues down the road. 

Since this position involves dealing with beneficiaries, heirs, and other interested parties, an even temperament and level-headedness is required for the job. Sometimes, they may need to settle disagreements or explain a complicated situation. 

Also, you will want to choose someone who is willing to act in the role. The executor or trustee must be ready to take on the responsibility and make decisions that align with the wishes of the deceased person or trust. 

Last but not least, they should be capable of carrying out duties. These individuals will be responsible for handling a wide range of tasks, such as paying bills, filing tax returns, and distributing assets to beneficiaries. They need to be willing to be involved in every step of the process. 

What Could Happen If the Wrong Person Is Chosen?

While the person selected might have the best intentions, sometimes, they are not qualified for the job. Inexperience or a lack of organization could cause problems for your estate. They may fail to pay taxes or distribute assets to the right individuals. All that can lead to disputes, delays, and legal battles for your family members. 

Choose the Right Executor or Trustee for Your Estate Plan

Selecting the right person to serve as an executor or trustee is an important decision. If you need a little guidance, reach out to Collins Law Firm. We have experience helping our clients find the right person for these roles. Schedule a consultation by contacting us or calling (414) 207-6292.

Talk to someone about your estate plan today. Free and Confidential.

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