From our “Ask a Question” Mailbag: I live in Philadelphia. How do I choose an executor?
Most Recently updated July 1, 2018.
If you are a Philadelphia resident with a will, following your death, your executor will take your death certificate, the original copy of your will, a checkbook and an ID card to the Philadelphia Register of Wills Office. There, your executor in Philadelphia will be sworn in as the executor of your estate.
What does being an Executor in Philadelphia mean?
Being an executor in Philadelphia means that this person is a fiduciary. He or she will have many responsibilities and duties. Selecting the correct person for the job is a vital part of your estate plan.
What are the requirements to become an Executor in Philadelphia?
You can select anyone over the age 18 to serve as your executor, but not everyone over the age 18 is fit to serve. Consider all the responsibilities that your executor will shoulder and carefully consider if the person you are considering as executor can carry out the tasks.
What are some tasks that an Executor in Philadelphia is responsible for?
Your estate may need a person who can efficiently and effectively take on the following tasks:
- Arranging for the payment of your funeral (and negotiating with all the various personalities that will take part in your funeral).
- Timely filing your will with the Philadelphia Register of Wills.
- Arranging for the preparation and payment your final income tax returns, the Pennsylvania Inheritance Tax Return and perhaps a Federal Estate Tax Return.
- Liquidating your assets (do you have any assets requiring specific skills and knowledge, such as business or commercial real estate?).
- Divide personal property between your heirs (including children from your first marriage and your second spouse?).
- Arranging for the appraisal of your property.
- Protecting your assets from theft and waste.
- Dealing with the emotional and financial demands of your heirs (and their spouses).
- Satisfying your creditors.
- Distribution of assets or funding of trusts.
- Managing the people involved in the estate to keep the estate moving towards completion.
Any other advice on who to choose as my Executor in Philadelphia?
Be honest with yourself about the candidates for serving as your executor in Philadelphia. The Philadelphia Orphans’ Court is full of family disputes caused by parents being blind to the conflicts that exist between their children. Naming one child or even all the children to serve as executor can be a great idea if they work together without disputes.
Naming the wrong child or children as executor could doom your family to years of conflict, hurt feelings and litigation. If your family finds it hard to work together, it is better to hire and have the estate pay an attorney to serve as your executor rather than create hard feelings within the family.
More Planning Questions?
Choosing an executor in Philadelphia is only a piece of the Estate Planning process. By all means, if you want to learn more, please read my more detailed article, Estate Planning Everything You Need to Know.
I hope that this article was helpful in explaining the focal points in choosing the right executor in Philadelphia for your estate. Further, I included links to even more detailed information on my website so you can learn more. Therefore, please contact me and let me know how I did. Certainly, your comments and questions are welcome!
Let our Estate Planning lawyers help walk you through what can be a confusing process. To begin with, call to speak to one of our experienced estate planning lawyers. By all means, our lawyers are ready to answer your questions. In fact, feel free to contact our office for a free consultation. Ultimately our goal is to make the process as painless as possible!
Wills, Trusts, Probate, and Estate Litigation, It’s All We Do!