What Happens if You Die Without an Executor Named for Your Estate?

Long Island Estate Planning Attorney Assisting Families with Naming Estate Executors

executor for an estateAn executor is your estate’s personal representative. This individual has a lot of responsibility, as he or she is the person who will carry out the wishes dictated in your estate plan. Furthermore, he or she distributes all assets, pays debts, and manages your accounts until distribution is ready.

You have the right to select anyone whom you would like to be your executor – including an elder law attorney. However, if you do not have an executor named in your will, or the person named is no longer living, the probate court judge might have to appoint someone on your estate’s behalf.

When No Executor is Named

There are numerous instances where an executor might not be named for an estate. In fact, the most common is in a written will, where the testator forgets to name a person. Also, oral wills might neglect the naming of an executor. If one died without a will, it is more likely that he or she will not have an executor named.

A will does not necessarily need to appoint an executor by name, but it can offer an indication of a suitable executor, such as naming the oldest child without mentioning him or her by name. Typically, the courts will consider this a valid appointment, if such a person exists.

When the Courts Must Appoint an Executor

Other times, the court must appoint an executor because none were named or the executor cannot be determined from the information provided by the will. The court allows anyone interested in serving to apply, but it will ensure that the person has something to lose or gain if the will is probated. Sometimes, the court elects a beneficiary to serve, while other times it could appoint a creditor, depending on the situation.

If the Executor Dies

Sometimes, an executor is named, but that executor dies before he or she can serve. In this case, the probate court judge must appoint an administrator.

Ensure That Your Last Will is Drafted Properly – Contact an Estate Planning Attorney

You can spare your loved ones the hassles of scrambling to find an executor by ensuring that your will not only has appointed one, but also has an alternate. An alternate ensures that there is always an executor ready to handle your estate.

Speak with an estate planning lawyer to start on your will by contacting the Law Office of Andrew M. Lamkin at 516-605-0625 or connect with him online. Consultations are offered free of charge and with no obligation.

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