The simple answer to the question, “Who administers a will?” is: an executor. However, the manner in which this person is chosen is not always clear-cut.
An executor (known as a personal representative in Colorado) is the legal title of a person who has been selected to carry out the wishes of a deceased person. The executor can be specifically named in the deceased person’s will, making the process quite simple (at least in theory).
There are situations that demand probate court intervention when it comes to naming an executor such as:
- The will fails to specifically nominate an executor
- The executor named in the will is hotly and legally contested by surviving family members and/or beneficiaries
- The validity of the will is challenged
- The person dies without a will (intestate)
In these types of cases the probate court will appoint an executor for the estate. The person named may not have been the deceased person’s first, second or even hundredth choice. (Once you are gone you won’t have the ability to make those decisions!)
The very best way to avoid having the administration of your estate end up in the hands of someone you do not approve of is by making sure your top choice for executor is properly named in your will. Choose wisely! The person you choose for this role will have many responsibilities:
- Properly distribute your estate and all assets to the people or organizations you have named
- Reconcile all outstanding debts and bills
- Inform the appropriate beneficiaries of their inclusion in your will
- Alert creditors of your passing
- Files the appropriate documents with the courts
Remember to update your will if the person you name as executor passes away, drifts out of your life for any reason, becomes untrustworthy or makes life changes of which you do not approve.
If you would like help in creating a will in Denver and deciding who to name as your executor, contact the Colorado will lawyers at Brown & Crona, LLC, (formerly The Brown Law Firm, LLC) to arrange an appointment: (303) 339-3750 or visit our website.