Executor Personal Representative Lawyer in Ann Arbor
Nominating an executor or personal representative is an essential step in the estate planning process. This person is responsible for distributing your assets and a range of other tasks after you die.
At Bassett Murray Law Group, we have the skills and experience to help you navigate the executor (personal representative) relationship. Contact us today at 734-930-9200 to schedule your consultation in Ann Arbor, MI.
What Is an Executor?
An executor, also known as a personal representative, is the person appointed by the court to manage or control property that belongs to a decedent. When you pass away, the person you nominate as executor will step into this role to complete the necessary estate administration tasks to close your estate.
If you do not nominate an executor in your will, the court will choose one for you — typically a surviving spouse or adult child. As such, if you have a specific person in mind, you will need to make a legal executor designation during your estate planning process.
Duties of a Personal Representative
An executor or personal representative is responsible for completing several tasks after a person passes to close their estate. These duties include the following:
- Locate the will
- Obtain the death certificate
- File a petition with the probate court, if probate is necessary
- Notify heirs
- Locate beneficiaries in the will and inform them of their inheritance
- Inventory all the decedent’s assets held in the estate
- Notify creditors and potential claimants
- Pay the decedent’s debts using the money in the estate
- File the decedent’s federal income tax returns
- Sell real estate and other estate assets
- Distribute the assets to the beneficiaries
- Close the estate
A personal representative’s job can be extensive and time-consuming. If you’re interested in shortening this process for your executor and beneficiaries, you can consider creating a revocable living trust. This trust can help your heirs avoid probate and receive your assets directly after your death.
Nominating Your Personal Representative
You can nominate your personal representative as part of the estate planning process. Your attorney can walk you through the process of including this nomination in your will and other necessary legal documents.
Before you name a personal representative, you should take time to think about the person best suited for this role. Many people choose their spouses or trusted family members as executors. Depending on your situation, you may consider designating an adult child, sibling, or friend to this role.
If you do not have or do not want a family member or friend to be your executor, you can nominate an attorney, bank, trust company, or accountant as your estate executor. Our estate planning attorneys can help you determine the right person for this role.
Whomever you choose, be sure to notify them of your decision before nominating them in your will. You should also nominate an alternative executor in the case that your original choice is unwilling or unable to perform their duties after your death.
Contact Our Qualified Estate Planning Attorneys in Ann Arbor
If you need help nominating an executor (personal representative), or you’ve recently been appointed to this role and are unsure how to proceed, you’ve come to the right place. Contact our Bassett Murray Law Group today at 734-930-9200 to schedule your consultation in Ann Arbor, MI.