Tips for Choosing Your Executor

Law Blog

It is entirely natural to want to do the right thing when it comes to your family, but when you need to choose an executor for your will, things can quickly backfire. You may want to give all of your children equal control over your will, but they may not all have the financial or mental capacity to handle the duties of an executor, which can create problems. Therefore, when creating your will, there are a few things that you must take into consideration so that you can choose the right executor to minimize problems with ensuring that your wishes are carried out the way that you want them to be when you pass.

Be Objective

When choosing your executor, you need to select someone who can handle your family dynamics and be diplomatic, especially if you are planning on transferring family wealth from one generation to the next. This is particularly true for blended families as you do not want one child to handle the entire estate. Depending on how complex your finances are, you may want an executor who is familiar with personal finances, legal issues, and taxes. It is also a good idea for the person to have their individual finances in order.

Keep in mind that your executor will need to be in the middle of any disputes, so you will want someone who can handle the emotions of the rest of the family without getting their feelings hurt. You need someone who can be committed to executing your wishes without being influenced by everyone's opinions.

Consider Their Location 

While it is not necessarily a requirement to live locally, it may be a good idea. For a non-local executor, he or she will need to travel several times for paperwork and other necessities, such as to sell the home. In addition, tax and legal issues can prove to be an issue, as they will vary from one jurisdiction to the next. Some things can be handled over the phone, such as hiring movers and whatnot. All in all, it is up to you to determine if your executor should be local or not, but make sure to thoroughly consider the pros and cons of a non-local executor.

Ensure They're Flexible

It does take time and effort to perform the role of an executor, and because of this, you will want to ensure that you choose someone who has flexibility in his or her schedule. Ideally, this role should not be given to someone who leads a very busy, hectic lifestyle. Although it may be tempting to choose someone who owns their own business and is familiar with legal and tax issues, this person may not be able to keep up with the deadlines necessary to handle the estate properly without hiring a professional.

Consider Their Health

It is always important to ensure that the person you are considering actually wants to perform the duties of the executor. In addition, you will want to ensure that they are in good health. You should also consider naming an alternate executor if something happens to the initial executor.

For more information, reach out to a will and trust attorney.


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