Executors

An executor is the personal representative of your estate.  They are the person in charge of taking control of your assets, paying off any debts, and distributing assets to your beneficiaries per the terms and conditions of your will.  You can choose anyone to be the executor of your will, but it is a good idea to choose someone who is both competent and trustworthy.  The person you choose to be executor should be outlined in your will.  Someone you appoint to be the executor of your will has the right to refuse, so you should have a backup executor in place just in case. 

Do I Need A Lawyer?

While there is no requirement to use a lawyer, probate is a rather formal procedure. One minor omission, one failure to send Great Aunt Tillie a copy of the petition, or a missed deadline, can cause everything to come to a grinding halt or expose everyone to liability.

The death of a family member or friend sometimes tends to bring out the very worst in some people. Experience shows that even in close families there is a tendency to get overly emotional about relatively trivial matters at the time of a loved one's death, such as who gets the iron frying pan and who gets the kettle. Such minor matters, or any delays or inconveniences can be upsetting, pose issues of fairness, and create unfounded suspicion among family members. Thus it generally is a very good idea to "let a lawyer do it."