When you accept an appointment as an estate executor in New Jersey, you should understand that the role comes with many responsibilities. Another thing to consider is how those close to the deceased are likely counting on you to manage their loved one’s estate.
Like most, you probably care about handling your role as estate executor as responsibly as possible. Most of the duties associated with estate administration must take place after the testator dies. However, there are some proactive steps you may want to take while the testator is still alive.
Talk to the testator for some clarity and direction
A good way of getting a head start on your responsibilities is sitting down with the testator and going over some of the details you will need to know. For example, find out where their estate planning and other documents are stored so that you can access them when needed. Other things you can do before death occurs include:
- Talk with them about the kind of funeral or memorial service they prefer.
- Have them inform you how they want sentimental possessions disbursed among beneficiaries and heirs.
- Together, list all their digital assets and accounts, including passwords, for access after death.
- Go over the beneficiary designations with them periodically to ensure they are correct.
- Have them write down the names and contact details of the professionals they trust (attorney, accountant, financial advisor, etc.).
When you address issues like these before the testator dies, it may make it easier to tackle the financial duties that arise in the wake of their death. Another way to potentially simplify your executor responsibilities is making sure you understand the estate administration laws in New Jersey.