Plan Your Estate: Make Your Executor’s Job Easier

While being an Executor is an honour, it is also a big responsibility. It takes a lot of planning, work, and time to oversee a dead person’s estate affairs and ensure their last wishes are carried out accordingly. To help reduce your Executor’s burden, we have put together some valuable tips on how to plan your estate to prevent uncertainties and make your Executor’s job a breeze.

1. Prepare your Will

Creating a Will is one of the most thoughtful decisions a person can ever make. This important legal document will guide your loved ones through an emotionally difficult time. It will also let them know who has the right to arrange your funeral. Even if a funeral has already been paid for, the funeral provider still needs the Executor’s permission to proceed with those arrangements. 

2. Gather all the essential documents

The hardest part of being an executor is finding the necessary information to settle the estate you have been entrusted with. To make your Executor’s job easier, organize all the essential documents in a safe and secure place where they can quickly locate them. This will prevent your executors from needing to search the nook and cranny of the house for the necessary documentation.

3. Name beneficiaries and dependents in your Will

If you have children below 18, it is essential to name a guardian for them in your Will. It would help if you also make provision for any other dependent that requires special care. Consider your pets too. Your furry friends would feel your loss as much as your friends and family would. So think about an alternative home for your cats, dogs, or any other pets and create a contingency fund to pay for their veterinary expenses.

4. Make an inventory of your liabilities and assets

Keeping an up-to-date list of all your assets and liabilities would also help reduce the stress on your Executor. When you have your banking information, investments, real estate, and insurances in writing, it will be easier for the Executor to determine the value of your estate. You may also want to keep pictures of your valuables, i.e., jewelry, quilt, or any other family heirloom, and create a list of people you want to give these highly-coveted items to. Grief and sentimentality usually run high when a loved one dies. Maintaining a clear list of your wishes and intentions can help avoid disputes and hatred among surviving friends and family.

5. List your experts

Make contact information of your trusted experts available, so your Executor will know who to speak with when they need assistance. You may want to keep professionals’ business cards, such as your lawyer, insurance agent, tax accountant, funeral home, employer, bank/investments, etc.

There is nothing like too much information.

Providing clear instructions for your Executor would make it easier to perform their various tasks. Aside from information relating to your properties, it would also be good to leave behind some sentimental details. Your loved one would be grateful for your letters, beautiful childhood memories, a list of your favourite jams, and so on.