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Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Before You Ask Someone To Be Your Executor

About 30 years ago, our best friends asked my husband and me to be executors of their estate and take custody of their children if something happened to them. We gladly accepted. Afterall, we loved them and wanted to help.  But we had no idea what was being asked of us.

 

We're so very thankful that nothing did happen.  Their kids are fully grown adults now and our friends are still alive a well.  Thank God for that!


However, we've now been through the deaths of two of our parents. There was no executor or plan and finding what was needed to pay funeral expenses and close accounts was very painful.  It made us acutely aware of the need for a plan and a solid discussion with our daughter about being our executor.  It's not something we'll ask her to do though without us first doing our part.

Being the one responsible for closing down another's estate is even more complicated today than it was 30 years ago.  Today we have a lot more in the way of social media accounts, online shopping, banking accounts, and other digital assets in addition to the physical assets we've acquired over our lifetime. Most of us will leave behind a very large digital footprint that will need closed out or otherwise protected from identity thieves.

eHow.com has an article posted called Duties and Responsibilities of an Executor that lists out what an executor's role is.  Not all of us will be named as an executor, but ALL of us will need someone to close out our earthly estate after we're gone.  So before you ask someone to fulfill that role for you, be aware of what you're asking them to take on.  Then make that job as easy for them as possible by having the information well laid out and easy to find.

We created a Planning Your Estate checklist and provide it free of charge for anyone to download. Along with that checklist, the Managing Your Digital Legacy checklist is extremely beneficial.  Those checklists aren't only beneficial for your executors but are very helpful for you to manage your assets now.

You should really consider looking at your estate and writing down as much information as you can, including funeral wishes and any special instructions you want to ensure your executor knows about.  When you ask someone to be your executor, sit down with them so they have a better idea what you're asking them to take care of for you.  Since none of us are guaranteed tomorrow the earlier you do this, the better.  Once it's done, make sure your
executor(s) knows where to find all the information they'll need when the time comes.  That's where SafelyFiled really shines.

Someone is going to have to take care of things after you're gone. Avoiding this topic and not planning might make things easier on you but it's going to cause someone, probably someone you love, a lot of pain.  Do it for them.



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