More than half of all Americans do not have a will. It is an important tool for ensuring that your final wishes are carried out, including what happens to your estate.
If you do have a will, you need to name an executor, or a court will appoint one. One major responsibility of executors is acting as estate liquidators, which includes paying any debt and taxes and dispensing inheritance to heirs. This individual has a huge amount of responsibility and power, so it is imperative that you choose the right person.
The information below lays out five considerations when choosing the right liquidator. Keep reading to find out how you can have the assurance that you select someone who handles your estate with the proper care and attention it deserves.
1. Choose Someone Responsible
The liquidation of an estate is a complex process. You will want someone who can juggle the responsibilities of paying creditors, handling stocks and bonds, selling items to consignment, or auctioning your estate. Estate liquidators must be very organized and comfortable handling myriad tasks and responsibilities.
2. Choose Someone You Trust
Above all else, you will want to choose an executor that you trust. This is often an heir or a close friend.
Unlike businesses, most individuals are not bonded. This means the courts have no way of paying beneficiaries if a liquidator absconds with funds. Choosing someone you trust will ensure that your wishes–not the executor’s–are carried out.
3. Choose Someone Who Has Time
The executor does not have to live close to you, but they do need to have the time to satisfy everything specified in the will. Although you may want to select someone close to you, keep in mind that there will be a grieving period involved. You may want to choose someone other than close family who can carry out the work during a difficult time.
4. Choose a Qualified Person
Executors must perform tasks like signing checks. So you need someone who is a U.S. citizen and is at least 18 years of age. Also, courts may not allow former felons to act as executors.
Although it is most common to name a single liquidator, it is possible to appoint more than one. For instance, you could divide responsibilities between funeral arrangements, property, and fiscal matters. Note that you will need to specify in the will the distinct tasks for each liquidator.
You also can appoint an additional “backup” executor, if the liquidator dies before you or chooses not to serve as executor.
5. Go With a Professional
Some people select an attorney, accountant, or bank to act as executors. Even a notary can perform the tasks. Note that these businesses will charge a fee for their work.
There also is the option of hiring liquidation companies to settle your estate. These organizations usually work with businesses that are filing for bankruptcy. The biggest advantage is that they have vast knowledge and experience with liquidation.
If you go this route, be sure to select a company that has been around and is trusted in the community. As for references and reviews. Speak with current or former clients (businesses or individuals) about their experience with the company’s estate liquidation services.
Choose the Right Estate Liquidators
Now that you have some ideas on how to go about selecting estate liquidators, you can determine who is the best person or company to handle your property and possessions. You will have peace of mind knowing that your final wishes will be carried out as you see fit and that your family is taken care of.
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