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What to consider when accepting estate administration duties

While preparing their estate documents, many New Jersey residents consider who they will want to serve as executors of their wills, trusts and other testamentary tools. They must ask those preferred individuals before including them in their estate plans and gain the acceptance of those they have named. Before a person agrees to serve as an estate executor, there are several important factors he should think about.

The American Association of Retired Persons, also known as AARP, provides a useful discussion of important reflections a person should have about becoming someone else's executor. First, prospective executors should determine if they have enough time to serve. Estate administration can take years to resolve and not all people have the time to dedicate to the task.

Second, estate administration requires that an executor exhibit the traits of organization and patience. Executors must handle many detailed documents and understand how each fits into a decedent's plan. They must also be able to work with others in the probate process, which can sometimes be frustrating due to the speed at which probate can operates.

Third, executors must be willing to learn about estate administration. Estate planning and administration is a technical legal discipline and those who serve as executors should have the willingness to understand the important factors that can influence how an estate will be managed. As a result of these considerations, not all people will be able to serve as executors of their friends and family members' estates.

The death of a loved one is never easy but for some a death is just the first step down the difficult road to estate administration. As discussed, not all people can or should serve as estate administration executors. Executorships require time, patience, learning and organization, and those unprepared to fulfill all expected duties may consider declining acceptance of their loved ones' executor requests.

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