Select an Executor of a Will

You Need a Will and a Good Executor of that Will

It is important to have a Last Will to avoid having your estate distributed to persons designated by state statutes.  In New York, the statutes determine the priority of the persons who inherit a decedent's assets when a person dies without a Last Will.  The persons who have a right of inheritance may be distant relatives with whom a decedent had no contact or may be persons that the decedent did not like.  Also, when a person dies without a Will, it may be necessary to have a Kinship Hearing to prove the identity of the decedent's next of kin.  

Preparing a Last Will avoids this uncertainty and unpleasant result.  Having a Last Will allows a person to create an estate plan that reflects his or her wishes and allows the estate beneficiaries to receive their inheritance in an effective and organized manner. An executor of will is also provided for.  The testator can also create trusts in his Will that can provide protection for minor children or incapacitated beneficiaries.

When it comes to choosing the executor of a will, the person selected should be someone who is responsible, trustworthy and mature. You can select one or more executors to be co-executors. Alternates should be named in case the selected executor is unable to serve for any reason at any time. It is also important to select an executor who will appreciate the issues involved and employ professionals to the extent necessary for an estate that involves significant accounting, financial, legal and tax issues. The bottom line is you need to have a last will and a good executor of will.

A New York Estate Planning Lawyer can assist you with preparing your estate plan and advance directives.  These documents include a last will, living will, health care proxy and power of attorney.  The executor that you nominate in a Will can be the same person that is selected as an agent in the health care proxy or power of attorney.  The executor can also act as a trustee that is named in the will or as a Trustee of a Living Trust created during life.  The use of a Living or Grantor Trust may be helpful or avoid the probate  process or to provide a means for management of property if a person becomes disabled or incapacitated.  While the duties of an executor do not become active until after death and the probate of a will, lifetime trustees and agents can assist a person who is no longer able to make decisions for himself.  

I have many years of experience working with and advising clients in the creation and implementation of plans that effectively express the clients’ personal desires regarding the disposition and protection of assets while providing potential tax advantages and security for family and beneficiaries. I graduated in the top 10% of my class at The New England School of Law in Boston and served on the prestigious “Law Review.”  I have represented many executors of will and helped them with the probate and estate settlement process.

Do you need a last will or have any questions about an executor of a last will or probate proceedings? Contact me by phone at (212) 355-2575 or by e-mail