When you create a will in Georgia, you need to name an executor for your estate. This is the person who is responsible for seeing your will through probate and ensuring that your estate is properly distributed. Their responsibilities will include securing and distributing assets, paying creditors and filing taxes.
Choosing a family member
Choosing an executor can be complicated. You may run up against family conflicts. Some family members may resent it if you appoint other family members. You may want to consider naming more than one executor, but this could cause additional issues if you think they will come into conflict with one another. Another option is to name a professional, such as an attorney, as an executor. The drawback here is that it could be costly. It is generally a good idea to name a backup in case the first executor cannot perform their duties for some reason.
Qualities of an executor
Another consideration is the preparation and personal qualities that might make people a good choice. Executors do not need to have previous experience with estate planning or be adept in law or finance. However, they should be honest and well-organized. An executor may also need to navigate conflicts within the family. They are permitted to hire professionals, such as an attorney or financial professionals, and pay for their services out of the estate.
A executor has what is known as a fiduciary duty, meaning that they have an ethical obligation to carry out their duties responsibly. While in most cases probate happens without any issues, there may be situations in which family members disagree with the executor or the executor’s actions, and this could lead to litigation. Therefore, in addition to choosing the executor carefully, it may also be a good idea to discuss the choice with family members.