Now that you have taken three deep breaths and understand that creating an estate plan is not that difficult, you roll up your sleeves and take charge. You are no longer bound to paralysis analysis. You have chosen to create a will.
And you understand that many decisions must be made and not just who gets your assets and property or naming beneficiaries and what they will receive. There are burial instructions, selecting a guardian for your minor children and a person to serve as the will’s executor – a critical role in the estate planning process. Who will be the executor?
Organized, fair and dependable
In many cases, testators – the people who created the will – often name their spouse, an adult child or a trustworthy friend or relative as the executor. If you have a large and complicated estate, it may be a good idea to name an attorney or other financially savvy professional as the executor. And, in some cases, people name co-executors.
An executor has a thankless job with vast responsibilities that include distributing assets and property, paying outstanding bills and taxes along with settling arguments among beneficiaries.
Here are the qualities you should seek in an executor:
- Dependable, trustworthy and loyal
- Level-headed and fair
- Organized and responsible
- Financially savvy
- Has the availability to fulfill this time-consuming role
- Confident and patient
- Ethical and compassionate
Before selecting an executor, make sure to discuss the issue with any candidate. You want to make sure that this person feels comfortable in a role with challenges and complications.