Choosing an executor for your estate plan is no easy feat. This person will serve as your proxy after you are gone, which is a great responsibility. That means they will be able to make major decisions regarding your estate, including things like selling off property, dispersing assets to heirs, and ensuring creditors are paid.
How can you choose the best possible person to assume this role? While making the right decision can definitely be challenging, the following tips ensure your estate is in good hands.
Make sure the person is responsible
Even beloved friends and family members may not make the best executors if they do not have the right character. Being an executor is hard work, especially when will or trust issues arise during the process. When making a selection, consider the lives of potential candidates. Are they financially responsible? Do they procrastinate when it comes to important tasks? Will they be willing to put the time and effort into your estate for the best possible results? Answer these questions honestly when reviewing loved ones to ensure you can rest easy in your decision.
Consider executors other than friends and family
Some people lack reliable friends and family to assume the role of executor for their estates. Others may be suitable, but selecting a certain person could lead to turmoil among other members of your family. In this case, choosing an executor that has no personal connection to you might be the best choice. Financial advisors, attorneys, and banking institutions can also serve as your executor. While choosing a professional does entail higher fees, it also provides reassurance that your estate will be handled correctly.
Name a successor that is younger than your first pick
If you select an executor that is close to you in age, there is a chance that you will outlive the person. That is why many people choose a younger, equally-competent successor in the event their first pick is unavailable. You can add language to your will that states who you wish to be a successor to your initial choice. Making this decision now is best in the long run, especially if you are incapacitated by illness or injury in the future and unable to make decisions regarding your estate.