Hollywood is probably never going to make a hit movie based on your basic routine estate law discussions.
That isn’t to say that there isn’t the occasional actual drama that comes up from time to time, especially in cases where one party may feel they should get a larger share of the inheritance than another, or worse, a will was ever created or found.
But any drama is more of the routine variety that benefits from the presence of an executor, which is who the person writing the will chooses to properly dispose of their property. The female version is called an executrix.
Even if they don’t have legal or financial training, they become the legally-binding representative for your estate. This includes making sure any instructions in the will are properly carried out, any property is disposed of, and any debts are paid off.
In cases where there’s no will to be found, the court will designate a male administrator or a female administratrix to take on the role of disposing of property based on what the deceased likely would have wished.
The intent is that an executor or administrator will be chosen because of their ability to make sure the disposition of an estate goes the way it’s supposed to.
Realtor Marc Cormier said the role can be thought of as a neutral party that focuses on being objective,
“An executor can be someone everyone in the family knows, such as a trusted attorney but not a family member since this can add to the confusion,” said Cormier. “Or it could also be someone that family members really don’t know, such as a financial planner or a professional colleague. This also has the benefit of someone who isn’t attached to the family since they shouldn’t show favoritism.”
Cormier is always happy to point people in the right direction whether they’re making sure their assets are properly discussed and disposed of, or they may have questions about how to get started. He can also provide a list of top Estate Attornies in the area.