When you pass away, items that remains in your estate may be subject to probate. During probate, a New Jersey judge will verify that your will is valid and take care of any other issues that need to be resolved. A representative named within your will or by the court will represent your interests during such a proceeding.
Choosing your executor
Ideally, your executor will be someone who is organized, pays attention to details and lives relatively close to you. This person should also be someone who you trust to make tough decisions without straying too far from what you want or need your estate plan to accomplish. While many people choose their oldest child to serve in this role, it may not be the best choice in your case. Instead, it may be best to choose a middle child, a trusted friend or a colleague who is willing to make sure that your affairs are settled in a timely manner.
You may want other options
An executor is under no obligation to actually represent your estate when probate begins. Therefore, it is a good idea to name an alternate who can fill in if your first choice is unable or unwilling to act. If no alternate is named in your will, the judge overseeing your case may appoint someone, and there is no guarantee that this person will follow your estate plan instructions in good faith.
Choosing an executor is likely one of the most important estate planning decisions that you’ll make. Whether you choose a friend, family member or corporate executor, it’s important to communicate with them on a regular basis. Doing so may make it easier to settle your affairs free of family infighting or other potentially avoidable conflicts.