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What is an Executor?

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An executor is a person that a decedent has named to handle the probate of their will. That person is a trusted individual that the decedent selects to say this person is the one who I trust to make sure that my beneficiaries are treated equally, particularly with things like tangible personal property. You’d be surprised how people fight about mom’s engagement ring or dad’s Rolex watch and it’s nice to have somebody there who can make a final decision with respect to those items and make sure that beneficiaries are treated equally.

It’s also good that that person is financially savvy. Sometimes people even opt to have a banker trust company be their executor because they really want to make sure that their assets are invested wisely during the time of the estate administration and that the right choices are made about whether assets are distributed in kind, meaning they actually received them. Let’s say you have stock, you might receive the stock in kind or they may decide to liquidate it, depending on how the market is doing. I’m not saying they have to be a market genius, but they should be somebody who’s at least aware that they should be consulting an investment adviser or seeking out the knowledge that they need to make good decisions for their beneficiaries.

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Rusk, Wadlin, Heppner & Martuscello, LLP, is located in Kingston, NY and Marlboro, NY and serves clients in and around Ulster County as well as parts of Orange, Dutchess, Columbia and Greene Counties as well as many surrounding areas.

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