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Wills are most effective when the proper executor is chosen

Drafting a thoughtful and comprehensive will is a great way for Philadelphia residents to ensure that their wishes are carried out at the time of their death. That said, an important aspect of that process involves selecting the right executor to carry out the provisions laid out within one's will. Many people are unaware of the full weight of the duties that an executor assumes in relation to wills and do not give the process of choosing an executor the proper attention.

An executor is responsible for filing the will in the appropriate probate court, which initiates the probate process. He or she is also tasked with handling the distribution of assets as laid out within the will. In order to achieve the desired results, it is crucial to select an executor who is both willing and able to carry out these functions.

Individuals must consider the life of their intended executor when making this decision. Selecting someone who is already overwhelmed with his or her own family or business obligations can have a negative outcome.  It takes a considerable amount of time and effort to fulfill this role, and in some cases individuals change their named executor several times over the years, as circumstances change.

It is also important to select an individual who is trustworthy and level-headed. He or she should be willing to sit down and review the existing estate plan, so that any questions or confusion can be addressed before the plan needs to be put into action. Giving the designated executor a list of all assets and instructions on how to access them can also be very helpful.

In choosing an executor, Philadelphia residents can take the steps necessary to ensure that their wills are carried out in the manner they were intended. This is a significant choice, and one that should never be rushed. With the right man or woman in the position of executor, it is possible to attain a peace of mind when considering how things will be handled when the time comes.  

Source: itemonline.com, "Experience and training make the difference in estate planning", Aug. 9, 2015

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