Many people in Nevada and elsewhere would rather avoid conversations about mortality. However, it’s an important topic for many reasons. For instance, if you’re ready to navigate the estate planning process, you’ll want to discuss your final wishes, perhaps with a trusted family member or friend, as well as a legal advocate. You might also have much to think about and discuss regarding the appointment of an estate administrator.
Appointing someone to administer your estate is no small matter. It’s critical to make sure that the person you have in mind is able and willing to carry out all duties that go along with the position. It’s also important to consider what type of duties there will be.
Who can serve as your estate administrator?
When you sign a last will and testament, you may designate a person of your choosing to serve as your estate administrator. It might be your spouse, an adult son or daughter, a trusted friend, a business partner or an estate and probate law attorney. Not everyone is right for the job, nor does a designation automatically mean that the person so designated will want to accept the duties. So, you’ll want to keep this in mind as you consider candidates, and, preferably, discuss it with your prospective choice before adding his or her name to your will.
What are the duties of an executor?
The person you choose to administer your estate after you die will have numerous duties to fulfill, including those shown in the following list:
- Gather all your assets
- Have assets appraised so that true value is known
- Submit a report of all assets and debts to the probate court
- Oversee debt repayment to creditors
- Distribute assets to beneficiaries and/or heirs
- File a “proof of claim” with the Internal Revenue Service
This list is not extensive, and your estate administrator may have several additional duties, as well, although this list provides a basic overview, which you can use as a guide to discuss the duties with the person you are thinking of designating to the position.
Your administrator will handle income and estate taxes
When you die, you must file your income taxes for that year. If you have taxes due from any past years, you must pay those, as well. If you have a large estate, taxes may apply on the transfer of your assets to your heirs or beneficiaries. Your chosen estate administrator has an obligation to ensure payment of all taxes owed.
You can make changes to your estate plan, as needed
While it’s prudent to avoid rushing when choosing an estate administrator, it’s also good to know that you can amend or update your estate plan, as needed. This means you can change your designation if, for some reason, you determine it is necessary.