How to Make Someone the Executor of a Will

By Anna Assad

You need to cover the important aspects of your estate in your will, including who you are leaving assets to, how much each beneficiary will get and who your executor is. You may make a person your executor by naming him as such in your will. However, your will needs to be valid in your state so your executor can get the authority he needs in probate court. Before you, the testator, create your will, check your state's laws regarding will creation and allowable will types.

You need to cover the important aspects of your estate in your will, including who you are leaving assets to, how much each beneficiary will get and who your executor is. You may make a person your executor by naming him as such in your will. However, your will needs to be valid in your state so your executor can get the authority he needs in probate court. Before you, the testator, create your will, check your state's laws regarding will creation and allowable will types.

Executor's Role

An executor handles all aspects of your estate. He will start the estate proceedings and will participate in the proceedings; he will sell assets and give the beneficiaries their share. The executor pays your debts, manages the estate's money, prepares and files your final tax returns and protects the estate from financial loss. If you have a car, for example, the executor will take steps to protect it from damage before it is sold. If the car is damaged, it will lose value and your heirs will get less. Your executor will handle any problems that arise, such as a dispute over your will or a creditor trying to claim an illegitimate debt.

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Selection

You'll need to pick an executor who is legally able to serve in your state; usually, this means a person over the age of 18 who is mentally competent and who doesn't have any felony convictions. You may select a relative, but you will want to chose a person whom your beneficiaries will accept in the executor role. An executor should be organized, honest, pay attention to detail and able to handle the financial responsibilities, court appearances and paperwork that come with the role. When you're deciding between potential executors, speak to your candidates. You should confirm the person you pick is willing to do the job before you name him in your will.

Alternate Executor

You may name an alternate executor in your will. If your first executor is unwilling or unable to serve, your alternate will take his place. Speak to the alternate executor before you name her in your will. She has to be willing to take on the responsibility, if the first executor can't act. The alternate executor must still meet the minimum age qualification for an executor in your state.

Execution

Your will has to conform to state laws and you must sign it when you're done. Your named executor won't get court appointment if your will is invalid. State laws differ on will requirements, and the rules for typed or handwritten wills might not be the same. Usually, you need at least two adults to sign the will as witnesses to your signature. These two or more people need to be considered adults in your state. Some states forfeit all or part of a beneficiary's share if she is a witness to the will, so use witnesses who won't benefit from your estate. You and your witnesses may sign notarized affidavits that comply with your state's laws to confirm your will. With the affidavit, your will is considered "self-proven," and your executor won't need your witnesses in court.

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How to Nullify an Executor on a Will

References

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Can You Make Someone an Executor in a Will Without Going Through a Lawyer?

When you write a will, you need to name an executor. An executor is the person responsible for carrying out your final directions and wishes regarding your property and belongings. The person you name as executor should be trustworthy and responsible, as she'll have to manage your entire estate. You don't need a lawyer to make a will or to name an executor. You also don't have to ask a person for permission before naming her as executor in your will, although it is in your best interest to do so. If your chosen executor decides she doesn't want the responsibility after you die, the court will have to find another person to manage your estate. The lack of an executor will delay probate, the court proceedings necessary to settle your last affairs. A probate delay may financially affect your loved ones if they're relying on money from your estate to pay bills.

How Do I Pick an Executor of My Will?

An executor of a will is someone you name in your will to manage your affairs after your death. An executor is responsible for handling your financial obligations, distributing your assets and paying creditors according to your wishes and the terms of your will. Because an executor has a legal duty to properly manage your affairs, picking the right executor is crucial to ensuring your heirs receive their assets promptly and to avoid any potential will contests.

How to Make Your Own Will Forms

A will is a document that tells a probate court how to distribute the assets of the person who wrote the will -- known as the testator -- after he dies. A will must be prepared in accordance with state law or it will not be enforced. The laws of the various states differ somewhat on what is required to create a valid will. If your will is declared invalid, your property will be distributed among your relatives in accordance with the state intestacy law.

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