How to Prepare your Executor

What is the best way to help your chosen estate executor while you are still alive?

Posted on May 28, 2021 by Luisa Rollenhagen
Estate Settlement Preparing Executor Woman

Naming someone to be an executor of your estate will put your mind at ease and save your loved ones any legal trouble later. However, even with modest assets, wrapping up an estate is a time-consuming process that requires a lot of planning and attention to detail. Simply put, disorganized estate planning means a lot of work for your loved ones and your executor in particular.

What is the best way to help your chosen estate executor while you are still alive? Here are a few tips to get you started:

Update Your Documents (and your Executor)

The best way to help your executor is to routinely update your will, trusts, and beneficiary designations to reflect realities on the ground and your wishes. If you created a living trust, ensure you officially transfer all assets such as real estate and bank accounts to the trust.

Keep your executor up to date on any changes you make. Any life changes or changes in your wishes should be communicated to your executor as well. The more you keep them in the loop, the less stress they’ll have down the line.

Create joint accounts

If you have a spouse or dependents, one way to ensure your assets flow immediately to them is by setting all property and accounts as joint. Similarly, ensure properties and titles are in both names to reduce the size of the estate and the work of the executor. Additionally, check to ensure you name the correct beneficiary for accounts that demand a specification such as pensions, retirement accounts, and insurance policies.

Ensure Documents Are Accessible

It is not uncommon for an executor to spend countless hours searching for crucial pieces of documents needed to carry out your wishes. You should put important documents where the executor can find them with ease. Examine your system and consider putting together a binder that has all the items your executor is likely to need, including bank statements, birth certificates, marriage certificates, divorce decrees, property deeds, insurance policies, deeds to real estate, and many more

Provide Sealed Online Accounts Documents

In the current digital world we live in, it is crucial to provide your executor with important account documents for your online presence, such as Facebook, PayPal, eBay, Twitter, to ease the deactivation process. Although the executor can deactivate the accounts by presenting your death certificate to the cites, a sealed online accounts document containing passwords simplifies their work.

Leave Some Cash

After your death, there are bills to pay and final expenses and fees to cover, such as funeral expenses and eventual appraisers' and lawyers' fees. These expenses cannot wait for the reading and execution of your will. Make sure you leave some cash available which can be accessed easily by your executor.

Leave Plans for a Funeral or a Memorial

It would help if you also left your plans or clear wishes about your cremation or burial arrangements. Expressing your preferences in writing makes things a lot easier for your executor and loved ones. A funeral is always a highly emotional affair, and leaving clear instructions helps avoid typical family disagreements.

Key Takeaway

Undoubtedly, death doesn't discriminate by age or any other factor. Even if you have modest assets, you can benefit from the ideal end-of-life planning. A little forethought now about empowering your executor to carry out your wishes with precision can make their job easier.

At Clear Estate, our goal is to help you get through this process as painlessly and efficiently as possible. Contact us today to get started. We are here for you.