First off, it is a good idea to contact an attorney in your jurisdiction to help you throughout the process of drafting and executing a Will; especially since laws are very specific as to what a Will must contain and how it must be executed to be valid. Below we will discuss a few appointments that you will have to make when preparing your Estate Plan and Will.
Executor: Generally, the Executor of the estate or the Executor of the Will is the one in charge. What does that mean? Basically, the Executor is in charge of probating your Will, thus carrying out the transfer of assets and in some cases ensuring legal guardianship passes (if the deceased has minor children). The Executor’s job is to make sure that what is contained in your Will is carried out. In most cases, the Executor will hire an attorney to assist with the probate process.
Guardian: In short, your Guardian will be responsible for your minor children. As a practical matter, if you and your spouse are executing a Will it would be wise to appoint the same guardian in order to avoid any potential disputes down the road.
Trustee: If you and your attorney decide that you should set up a Trust then you will also need to appoint a Trustee. The Trustee is responsible for overseeing the Trust and owes a fiduciary duty to both the Trust and the benefices of the Trust.
In our practice we find that often times choosing who to appoint as Executor, Trustee, and Guardian can be difficult for our clients and rightfully so. It is an important decision that you should discuss in detail with your attorney as part of your estate plan. The process of drafting and executing a Will is much more in-depth and this article is only meant to provide you with just a few things to consider before executing your Will. Moreover, the most important take away, is that regardless of your situation it is a good idea to speak to an attorney to see how a Will can help protect your wishes and family.