Many people in Maryland may have heard of the term "executor of a will," but they may not know exactly what an executor does. In general, an executor is simply a person designated in an individual's will or named by the court who is given the legal duty of settling the final monetary obligations of the deceased. This includes making distributions per the terms of the deceased's will and paying bills and taxes. While these obligations may seem relatively easy, there are in fact many complexities that could come up.
How should individuals in Maryland decide who to appoint to such a position? While some individuals choose a family member, such as an adult child, a brother, a sister or a spouse to perform the duties of the executor, in general just about anyone can be chosen to serve as an executor, with some exceptions and limitations. However, what is really important is that whoever is chosen as an executor is an honest individual who can also stay organized and is a good communicator.
In addition, where the executor lives can be important. The executor may need to appear in the court where the estate is located. In addition, the executor may need to perform upkeep on any real property of the estate or check the deceased's mail. It is easier for an executor to carry out these duties if he or she lives in relatively close proximity to the area where the assets are located.
Family dynamics can also be an issue when it comes to naming an executor. Most people will want to try to avoid having family members fight or feel jealous over who is named as an executor, so keeping family relationships in mind when making such decisions is important. After all, no one wants to see a will contest or other complex issues develop.
Choosing an executor is a major decision that comes up in estate planning. It requires careful thought and should not be rushed into. By choosing an appropriate executor, the administration of the deceased's estate can be completed, hopefully, with relative ease and few problems.