People sometimes delay creating a will, because it can seem like an overwhelming task to figure out where you want all of your property to go after you pass away. There are many things to think about. People often put it off, because they are just not certain about everything.
For this reason, it is often a good idea to start simply and first decide upon an executor. Many people think this is a minor concern. However, it is one of the most important decisions you make when planning your estate. The executor of your estate can have a major impact on what will happen with your estate, as MarketWatch discusses in "When you write your will, don't mess this up."
The executor of an estate has many important tasks. The job requires that assets be accounted for, debts are paid and that assets then be distributed under the guidance of the probate court.
Filing tax returns with the IRS is another important task for which the executor is responsible. That can be a problem if the executor gets it wrong. The IRS will seek to collect any unpaid amount, including penalties and fees, but it may not go after the estate alone.
The IRS might seek to collect the money from the executor personally since executors can be held personally liable. When that happens, both the estate and the executor have a big mess on their hands.
Of course, it is best to get an estate plan from an attorney who specializes in creating them. If you are not sure who to name as an executor, ask the attorney for advice.
Reference: MarketWatch (June 13, 2018) "When you write your will, don't mess this up."