How to Choose the Best Executor of Will in AZ
It is essential to choose an executor of will that is responsible. Read to know how to choose the best executor for your needs in AZ.
In the United States, 60% of Americans don't have a will. Not having a will can hamstring your estate process. The will is crucial to making sure that your final wishes are carried out to your liking, and that your wealth winds up in the right hands.
After creating a will, having the right executor is one of the most important steps of the process. An executor of an estate in Arizona is also know as personal representative. And in phoenix executor of a will can be challenging to choose. That is why you should meet with an estate planning lawyer in Arizona to help you figure out your best options and who would be the right fit for you.
The tips below explain what you should know about the executor of will in your state so that you can make the decision that makes the most sense for you.
What Is an Executor of Will?
Having an executor (or personal representative) of your will gives you the chance to administer each point with the proper instructions, as set forth by the will.
It is an essential part of the estate planning process that you will have to come to grips with to make sure that your wishes are carried out correctly and to your liking. When you assign an executor, you are solidifying the will and giving the arrangement the best chance to play out in a way that takes care of your estate, descendants, and any other aspect of the document.
You are telling the probate court who should be responsible for the probate process following Arizona law. Arizona wills express the wishes of the deceased person.
How to Choose an Executor
Since the will executor is the person that is responsible for carrying out the will so that the process is set into motion, their importance can't be overstated. You will need to put some thought into it to make sure that you find the best option. It's the last detail that you need to nail down so that your will is handled correctly.
Choose Someone You Trust
The best executor is a person that you trust the most to handle these duties. It could be a family member, a friend, or an independent professional. Above all, you need to know that they are responsible, dutiful, and able to respond when called upon. It is better to have an out of state executor that you trust than someone close to you that you don't trust to take care of your entire estate.
Some people choose family members for this reason, while others decide against family members because the situation is too personal to them. A surviving spouse is also another common option in legal documents. An surviving spouse may not be a good option if you are part of a blended family.
Assess the people that you know in your life and decide on the candidate that you know you can rely on. Make sure that candidate is happy with your choice as well. You may have more multiple executors or personal representatives.
Talk to Your Lawyer
Make sure that you speak to your estate planning lawyer to know exactly what to expect from this process. Not only can your lawyer give you some advice on who you should appoint, but they can also act as your will executor.
In fact, a professional is often the best decision because they understand estate law and can quickly take action as soon as you are deceased and it's time for your will to be carried out.
When your last will and testament is on file at a law firm, you'll have an executor even if that professional leaves or retires. Another professional at the firm will be able to execute the will and will represent your estate through the conclusion of the legal process.
Plan it Out When Writing a Will
The time to start thinking of who you'd like to have as you executor begins when you are writing your will. The state of Arizona refers to this executor as a personal representative.
Your personal representative will need to be someone business oriented, because they will also uncover personal debts and make sure that they are handled correctly. They will be selling property, dealing with personal property, paying debts, deal with estate taxes and also with asset distribution.
In doing this, all loose ends that are open when you are alive will be taken care of, money will be bequeathed to the proper people and entities, and everyone can move forward and grieve in peace without a lot of work to be hashed out. Or legal heirs will not have to deal with an informal probate process.
Know the Law in Your State
An Arizona executor needs to have at least a general understanding of estate planning and probate law so that they understand the responsibilities that they are accepting. This carries out in a few different stages, starting with validating the will, compiling all of your personal assets, handling debts and liabilities, and making sure that your assets are distributed correctly. Arizona is a community property state and estate tax is low.
Without a will your executor will be chosen following intestate succession. Even a holographic will is better than nothing.
This is why having the help of a lawyer is such an integral piece of the puzzle.
Notify Your Executor
More than anything, make sure that your executor is notified that they will represent your interests. It's best to let them know as early in the process as possible so that they are prepared for the task and everything that comes with the territory. It is also wish to have a backup executor that will step in as a new executor in case the first person was not available.
This is particularly important if your executor is a relative, rather than a professional. It will give them the chance to decline if they don't think that they can do it, and to get their understanding up to speed. Store retrievable copies of your will to make sure that it can easily be found so that there is no ambiguity.
The best course of action to take is to have a validated copy of your will kept with your executor, along with another stored with your lawyer, and another stored in your house. Have clear instructions on how to retrieve them and make sure your executor is kept in the loop.
As soon as you are of sound mind you can change your last will at any time and create a new will. You new valid will will usually invalidate all previous wills.
A will is considered valid if it signed and dated. The make a will self proving it is recommended to have two witnesses and to sign you will in front of a notary. At our law firm we also have a self proving affidavit, that will make it more difficult to contest a will in court.
The Importance of the Executor of Your Will
An executor of will is one of the most important designations that you can make. They will help you carry out your last wishes.
Citadel Law Firm can help you when you need the assistance of an estate planning attorney that can look after the creation of your last will and testament and other aspects of your estate plan. You can send us a message or call us at (480)565-8020 to learn more. We will be happy to offer you a free consultation to make sure we are the right lawyer for you. We don't just help you with a legal document. We make sure your family is taking care of in one of their worst moments.