The Legal Roles of Will Executors, Guardians, and Beneficiaries

Although it may be a scary and difficult task to even think about, let alone create, every responsible adult should write a last will and testament. A will or testament is basically a legalized document that will be used after your death to declare your wishes for burial and property distribution.

If you don’t have a will at the time of your death, any decisions, property, wealth, and heirlooms could wind up being distributed to the wrong people. A will can help make sure that your belongings, wishes, and money are distributed how you wanted them to be distributed.

Chosen Roles to Include in Your Last Will and Testament

Unfortunately, since you won’t be able to make sure your wishes are carried out, a will is a way to give you peace of mind. To further that peace of mind, and to make sure your loved ones are cared for properly, there are three separate types of roles that you must assign within your will. These roles are: executors, guardians, and beneficiaries. Below is a brief overview:

  • Executors. An executor is the person or persons that you choose to be responsible for making sure your will’s wishes are granted. He (or they) are responsible for assessing the monetary value of your assets, paying outstanding liabilities (from your assets), and distributing the correct assets, including property, money, and possessions to your chosen beneficiaries.
  • Beneficiaries. Beneficiaries are the people you wish to include in your will, who will inherit your personal belongings. You have the option to split up your assets however you wish. This means that you can denote specific objects, specific monetary amounts, or specific properties to whomever you deem worthy. Beneficiaries can include family, friends, loved ones, and charities.
  • Guardians. Although appointing a guardian isn’t always essential for a will, if you have children, or pets, appointing a guardian(s) is a responsible thing to do. A guardian is a person that you choose to look after any underage children that you may have when you die. A pet guardian is responsible for the well-being of any animals or pets that you own. Legally, a guardian is responsible for the medical well-being, care, and growth of a child or pet. However, although preferred, he does not have a duty to take the child or pet into his home.

Choosing Your Roles Wisely

One of the most difficult parts about writing a will is making sure that you’re comfortable with your decisions and positive about assigning each role—especially since the decisions can’t be changed once the will is executed. Although we can’t help you decide who deserves your grandmother’s locket, we can help you make sure that your wishes will be carried out to their fullest.

If you need help negotiating, writing, or finalizing a will, contact us today. Our vast experience and knowledge will not only give you the confidence and peace of mind you deserve, but we’ll make sure your family and loved ones are provided for once you’re gone, in accordance to your wishes. Don’t allow a minor writing error to invalidate your final wishes—call now to make sure your will and your final requests are secure.

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