Choosing an executor of your will is one of the most important estate planning decisions you'll ever make. You want to be 100 percent sure that the person you choose is willing and able to carry out a variety of estate administration tasks upon your passing.
While some people have a clear idea of whom they'll choose as an executor, such as an adult child or close friend, others are unsure of what's best for them and their estate.
It's okay to have some reservations about making a final decision, as this is a big part of your estate plan.
Here are five things to look for in an executor:
- Reliability: Your executor should be reliable and responsible, as they'll need to immediately step in upon your death. If you don't choose a responsible person, they make "flake out" when the time comes.
- Good financial standing: This isn't required, but it's something you should strongly consider. A person in good financial standing is a person who is more likely to make sound decisions while following the letter of the law.
- Age and health: As long as a person is 18 years of age or older, you can choose them as your executor (there are very few exclusions). However, you'll want to strongly consider both age and health when making this decision. For example, if you're 40 years old you don't want to choose an 80-year-old relative as your executor. There's a chance this person will pass before you.
- Someone who is not easily swayed: As unfortunate as it may be, family and friends may cause a stir after your death. This can even lead to a will contest. Your executor should be someone who sticks to what the will says and doesn't ever consider doing anything illegal.
- Emotional stability is important: Your executor should remain calm, even in the face of adversity. If this person is close to you, there's a good chance they'll be shaken up by your death. Even so, they must be able to carry out their tasks.
There are many important details to consider when creating a will, with choosing an executor at the top of the list.
When you name the right person, you'll feel confident in knowing that they'll make all the right decisions upon your death.