An executor is responsible for overseeing and managing the administration of your estate when you pass away. They notify beneficiaries and creditors of your death and perform a wide range of duties that include determining the validity of your will, paying debts and estate taxes, and distributing your assets to beneficiaries.
While many Oklahoma residents appoint a capable and responsible family member, there can be times when a relative is not the ideal choice. Maybe there are issues between family members that could disrupt the administration process or, alternatively, you don’t have any close relatives and the idea of asking a friend to be your executor makes you uncomfortable.
If you find yourself in this situation, there are alternative options for the role of executor. Banks, trust companies, certified public accountants, and attorneys can all assume that responsibility in a competent, diligent manner that benefits the estate as well as its heirs and creditors.
Many financial institutions offer estate administration services. There is usually a fee involved, although the amount tends to be reasonable if you are already a client. Depending on which bank you use, you may have to include certain language in your will, so be sure to ask a representative about any special requirements before you meet with an estate planning attorney.
Trust companies offer professional fiduciary services that include being an executor. Like banks, they will charge a fee, usually a percentage of the value of the estate, but it can be worth it considering that these companies have vast experience in estate administration. They are regulated and carry corporate insurance, which ensures the safety of your property, and their perpetual existence eliminates any worry about them being unavailable when the time comes to administer your estate.
Certified Public Accountant (CPA)
If you use a CPA for your taxes and other financial matters, you may want to consider appointing them as executor. They already have intimate knowledge of your personal and business finances and are required to follow an ethical code that makes them an excellent fiduciary, especially if they have experience in managing property as well as money.
Settling an estate can be far from simple, but an estate planning attorney has the qualifications and experience to handle all of the tasks and overcome any unexpected hurdles. Perhaps someone who had access to your accounts through a Power of Attorney mismanaged them or a creditor comes forward with an unverifiable claim. When an attorney is executor of your estate, they can competently take all necessary steps to protect its value, even litigate.
Work with an Oklahoma Estate Planning Attorney
Executors have responsibilities that many people have never experienced before. If your estate is large or complex, the right executor may also need administration, accounting, and legal expertise, all of which is available through professional fiduciaries.
At Pence Law Firm, we can help you put together an estate plan and administer it after you pass. We have the experience and resources to ensure that all necessary duties are carried out and your estate passes to the next generation as smoothly as possible. To learn more or speak to an estate planning attorney, call 918-367-8505.