When Texas residents begin estate planning, they often consider who they would like to act as the executors of their estates. In a best-case scenario, if your loved one wants you to take on this role for his or her estate, you will know in advance because you will have discussed the topic with your loved one.
Not only does knowing about the role and accepting it in advance prevent you from unexpectedly finding out your loved one named you as executor in the will, but it also allows you to prepare for the role while your loved one is still living. As the executor of the estate, you will handle many personal affairs for the person after his or her passing, so discussing those affairs ahead of time is wise.
What should you consider?
After your loved one passes, you will need to see the remaining estate through the probate process. This legal process can be complicated, so having as much information as possible about your loved one's wishes and about the estate is useful. Some information you may want to consider gathering ahead of time includes the following:
- The location of the will and other important documents, such as deeds, titles and insurance policy information
- Usernames and passwords for social media and other online accounts to deactivate after the person's passing
- Names and locations for professionals associated with the estate, such as accountants and attorneys
- Your loved one's wishes for funeral arrangements
- A list of small assets that may have personal value and to whom those assets should be distributed
- Beneficiaries listed on payable-on-death accounts
- An annual record of changes in assets
Having this information could go a long way in ensuring that you do not face unnecessary difficulties when the time comes to probate the estate. It may be wise to bring up the need for this information when your loved one asks you to become the executor or soon after. Estate planning is a continual process, and you need to remain in the loop to make changes to your plan when necessary.
What other steps are helpful?
When the time comes to begin the probate process, you may find it more difficult than anticipated. Fortunately, you can obtain help throughout the process from a Texas probate attorney. This individual could assist you with the many steps associated with settling your loved one's final affairs correctly and efficiently.