Considerations When Choosing an Executor for Your Estate

9:38 am Uncategorized

Check off box 150x150 Considerations When Choosing an Executor for Your EstateA New York Times article last week provided some thought-provoking information on what should inform your decision when it comes to naming an executor for your estate.  Among the recommendations:

Family vs. Nonfamily – The executor of an estate is responsible for all administrative duties that attend to the estate until it is legally closed.  This starts when a will is admitted to probate, and continues on through the payment of any bills or taxes, disbursement to beneficiaries and overseeing any potential challenges to a will.  The more complicated the estate, the more complicated the job as executor.

Many people opt for family members, but your first obligation should be to settle on a person who is organized, responsible and trustworthy – which may or may not be a member of your family.  And if you don’t have a close remaining family member, you may wish to name an attorney, accountant or corporate fiduciary as your executor.

Cost of an Executor – California has a set maximum fee that executors can charge, based on a tiered formula:

  • 4 percent of the first $100,000
  • 3 percent of the next $100,000
  • 2 percent of the next $800,000
  • 1 percent of the next $9 million
  • .50 percent of the next $15 million

For estates in excess of $25 million, the court will determine the fee. If the estate is particularly complex, the executor may petition the court for a higher fee. Family members usually waive executor fees and are reimbursed for any out-of-pocket expenses like travel.

Whomever you choose as your executor, be sure they understand everything the job entails and agree to serve before your finalize your will.  Be sure you name one or more alternates, and keep up with your primary executor – if they die before you do and you have not named an alternate, the court will make the decision for you.

Have you decided that now is a good time to review your estate planning documents?  Then contact our California estate planning law firm to help you ensure everything is in order.

Your California legal and financial planning experts are at your service; Contact us today.

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