No one likes to dwell on their own death, and it can be especially hard to discuss such things with close friends and family members. However, you want the administration of your estate to go as smoothly as possible for the sake of your beneficiaries. There are steps you can take and conversations you can have with your chosen executor in order to make things as easy as possible for them when the time comes for them to fulfill their duties and administer your estate.
Make sure they understand their role
Your executor has an extremely important job. Their responsibilities commence from the moment of your death, and continue until the probate process is complete and your assets have been distributed to all of your beneficiaries.
It’s important for you to make sure that they understand the full extent of their duties, and that they agree to take them on. Otherwise, you should find another executor so that the court does not have to appoint one for you.
Organization is key
When you pass away, your loved ones – including your executor – will be mourning your death. If you are organized, you can make it easier for them to gather your possessions, pay your debts and taxes, and distribute your assets according to the terms of your will.
Make a clear list of all of your assets. Don’t forget to include intangible assets, such as investments, stocks, retirement accounts and digital assets, as well as all necessary passwords for accessing these assets. Also be sure to include information concerning any debts that you may have that will have to be satisfied out of your estate.
If you feel uncomfortable disclosing all of this to your executor while you are still alive, you should at least tell them where to find this information when you are gone, so that they don’t have to hunt for it.
As uncomfortable as it may seem, having an open conversation with your executor can be immensely beneficial. It will give them the opportunity to ask you any questions that they may have, so that they do not have to guess what you would have wanted in case of any ambiguity.