If you know who you would like to handle your estate, you will need to appoint them as a personal representative, or, executor. In the state of Michigan, you have a relative degree of freedom to elect any adult for this position. However, your beneficiaries and a judge may disagree with your choice if they are unfit for the task.
Who is an appropriate choice?
Your property, assets, and wealth are only a part of your legacy. Still, your choice for executor can have a lasting impact on your beneficiaries. If the elected person does a poor job or takes advantage of your estate, they may face legal penalties or even jail time.
The person you choose should be fit to perform the following tasks:
- Pay creditors and other debts
- Pay taxes on your property and assets
- Appear in court on your estate’s behalf
They may also be responsible for maintaining your property’s needs and distributing your assets. This person should be responsible and honest with finances. Although it is not illegal in Michigan, electing an out-of-state executor can be logistically troublesome and an undue hardship for them.
Can your executor be replaced?
If your beneficiaries believe that your chosen executor is not acting in the best interest of the estate, they may need to bring them to court to nominate another person. However, they would need to prove that the executor is unfit to serve the position because of past or current behavior, emotional instability or felon status.
An executor may also choose to decline the position. If this happens, the court may appoint someone else you name as an alternative, or someone who is considered a person of legal priority. This includes surviving spouses, children, or other family members. They may enlist the help of legal professionals or choose to handle a simpler estate on their own.
Choosing an executor can be a deeply personal choice, or it might be a simple business decision. Whatever your needs, exploring your legal options can help your beneficiaries in the future.