Having a will is one of the most effective ways to reduce Texas probate costs and avoid dissension among your beneficiaries. Depending on the size and scope of your property, you can give your loved one’s peace of mind by adding trusts, a power of attorney and advance directives.
According to the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel, an estate administrator or executor winds up the details of your estate. This often involves paying off debt, closing accounts and ensuring that your heirs receive your property per your wishes. Choosing the right person to administer your estate requires thoughtful consideration, and not everyone is ready to take on this responsibility.
Consider their age and health
Ideally, the estate administrator you choose is someone you trust to follow your instructions. However, you also want to consider their age and health. They must outlive you, so naming an older sibling or friend of the family is not realistic. However, you can appoint a successor trustee if you have concerns regarding your first choice.
Common sense is essential
While an estate administrator does not need a law degree or financial expertise, they should have good judgment and common sense. The administrator may have to handle disgruntled beneficiaries and debt collectors. Patience, a firm hand and an understanding of when to stand their ground can help them navigate the process. Sometimes the financial and legal aspects of an estate become tangled. Your chosen administrator should also know when to ask for help.
Depending on your estate, you may decide that you prefer a team approach to the administration of your estate or a corporate trustee. An effective estate plan evolves and may change with major life events. If you have already made your choices, but it has been a few years, go back and review the details. This can ensure you take care of your loved ones in the best possible way, even after your passing.