Before a person passes, they want to know that their final wishes will be carried out. This requires a person to place a great deal of trust in another person to serve in the capacity as an executor of their estate. Even if someone owns only a small amount of assets, this part of their estate administration should be completed in order to ensure that someone trustworthy can settle their affairs. However, Michigan residents have the choice of whether or not to accept this assignment.
There are some considerations that a person must contemplate before accepting the position of someone's executor. They may be sued by beneficiaries or creditors if they don't act in a prudent manner or if they violate the duties that come along with the appointment. Handling a person's estate can also be a time-consuming and meticulous task, even for individuals who have a background in finance or legal matters. The executor of the estate must often deal with the probate process, which is supervised by the court and involves several steps.
The probate process requires the executor to determine the value of the assets that the deceased person left behind, pay the final bills and taxes for the deceased and distribute the remaining assets to the deceased's beneficiaries. This series of responsibilities and duties may be too much for certain individuals to handle. A prospective executor and the person bestowing the duty should make sure that it's a good fit before agreeing to the arrangement.
Some lay people may feel that executor duties are beyond their ability. However, professional help is available to help the executor accomplish each portion of the probate process through the form of Michigan estate lawyers. A lawyer may be able to examine the final will and facilitate the process of asset distribution.
Source: Scoop San Diego, "Should You Become Executor of Someone's Estate?", Jason Alderman, August 12, 2013