During the estate planning process, many decisions need to be made. One of the most critical decisions for many New Jersey residents will be the choice of an executor. The executor handles the administration of the decedent’s estate such as paying creditors, locating assets and distributing property.
Many people choose a close relative or friend to be the executor of their estates. It may be a good idea to discuss the appointment prior to making out a will to be sure that person is willing to serve, like-minded and trustworthy. If a person is not trustworthy, he or she may not handle the estate in the manner the deceased individual wanted.
For instance, a woman in Tennessee was the executor of her brother’s estate. It is alleged that since her brother died in 1999, she allegedly stole over $80,000 for personal use. A judge recently removed her as executor of her brother’s estate, and a grand jury indicted her for theft. Even if she is not convicted, the administration of her brother’s estate has been going on for nearly 15 years for reasons not reported. An alternate executor needs to be appointed to continue the administration of her brother’s estate.
Even though this may be an extreme case, it illustrates the fact that the choice of an executor may require some forethought. It may be tempting to rush to a decision regarding who serves as executor of a New Jersey resident’s estate. However, taking the time to consider the right person for the job and perhaps even discussing things with that person before making a final decision could give everyone some peace of mind.
Source: timesnews.net, Hawkins woman accused of stealing $80,000 from late brother’s estate, Jeff Bobo, Dec. 27, 2013