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Naming an executor important part of estate planning

Choosing the executor of an estate is an important task for California residents and others around the nation. Much thought and consideration should go into selecting someone for this critical role. The responsibilities of an executor are complex, and naming someone to do this job is key to ensuring a person's wishes are carried out as expressed. Estate planning experts offer some insight on the role of executor.

First and foremost, an executor makes sure that everything owned by the decedent is distributed to the appropriate people. Being named executor may be an ego boost for some, but the job requires a substantial amount of work. Settling an estate can take weeks, months or even years. However, with detailed estate plans in place, the process can take much less time.

One goal of an effective estate plan is to avoid probate to eliminate time in court. It is imperative that all financial documents are titled properly. Beneficiary designations should be made on insurance policies, retirement accounts and annuities. Individuals should check any property deeds to make sure the title reflects their wishes as to where the property will go.

Apart from the legal documentation, a list of helpful informational can truly assist an executor. Some entries might include the location of a will, bank account information, Social Security number and insurance or annuity contracts. Having all of this in one place will keep the executor from having to locate all the necessary information.

Naming an executor is a key step in estate planning. A knowledgeable estate attorney will help develop a plan to meet an individual's specific needs. Having the guidance of an experienced California lawyer will help ensure that someone's wishes are carried out and that assets are distributed as desired.

Source: cnbc.com, "There's more to the job of executor than you think", Sarah O'Brien, Aug. 9, 2017

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