Choosing an Estate Executor

Estate Planning Executor - The Law Office of David B. FerrellAlong with choosing an experienced Ohio estate planning lawyer, picking the right person to handle the execution of your estate is an important part of your estate planning process. Appointing an appropriate estate executor can help make sure that your wishes are carried out properly following your death.

The Estate Executor’s Responsibilities:

Before choosing someone to act as executor, you should understand what the executor’s responsibilities are in Ohio. The specifics can vary depending on the size of your estate and other variables, but in most cases, estate executors do the following:

  • File any required paperwork with the county
  • Notify your creditors of your death; pay and collect any outstanding debts
  • Pay your bills until the estate is settled
  • Pay any estate taxes
  • Distribute your assets (property, etc.) according to your wishes
  • Hire an estate planning lawyer to assist with the settlement of your estate

Things to Consider When Choosing an Executor:

Even if you’ve prepared a full estate plan, it’s not uncommon for the estate execution process to take up to two years. Although Ohio law establishes a set payment amount for estate executors, it’s generally not a particularly profitable role. Because executing an estate is such an important responsibility, you should consider several factors when evaluating the candidates, including:

  • what other obligations they have (work, family, school, etc.)
  • their organizational skills
  • their willingness to act as executor
  • their physical location (an executor does not have to live in Ohio, although probate courts may place more restrictions on nonresident executors)
  • their relationship with your other family members and heirs

If you die without appointing an estate executor, the Ohio probate court will appoint someone to administer your estate (called an “administrator” instead of an “executor”). Many people would strongly prefer to name an executor themselves versus having the court appoint an administrator for them. However, sometimes people find that they don’t have a friend or family member who is a good candidate. If you determine that you don’t know anyone who would make a good executor for your estate, talk to a knowledgeable estate planning lawyer about other options. It may be possible to choose a professional, such as a Ohio estates & probate lawyer, to execute your estate. Another option may be to have a bank or trust act as executor. An experienced Canton, Ohio estate planning attorney will be able to discuss all of the options to help you choose the best executor for your estate.

About David Ferrell

For over 30 years, David B. Ferrell has practiced excellence in the areas of probate, estate planning, DUI, and divorce law. David Ferrell is dedicated to providing each client with personal service, trustworthy advice, and expert representation. David B. Ferrell's Google+ Profile

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