Creating a will is one of the best financial decisions you can make. While there is a lot to think about, choosing an executor for your will is one of the most important decisions you have to make.
With so many benefits, you don’t want to put this off any longer. Sure, you may have some unanswered questions, but you can come to grips with these as you move through the process. Once accomplished, this will certainly give you peace of mind.
In short, an executor is the person who is given the responsibility to take care of your financial obligations upon your death.
Remember this: if you don’t name an executor the court will appoint one. For this reason, it’s better to take matters into your own hands.
While everyone is in a unique situation, some of the most common duties of an executor include:
- Distributing assets as outlined in the will
- Maintaining all property, such as real estate, until it is settled
- Paying taxes on the estate
- Paying any bills associated with the estate
- Making any required court appearances
Note: if the executor requires any money to perform these duties, which is typically the case, it will come from the estate.
All in all, you have the option to choose anyone you wish to be the executor of your will. With this in mind, it doesn’t mean you should make a rash decision. Instead, you should consider all your options and then make a final determination.
Some of the most common choices include a spouse, child, or sibling.
If you don’t have a family member who can act as an executor, don’t hesitate to consider a close friend.
Qualities of an Executor
At this point, you should realize that choosing an executor is a big deal. This means you don’t want to choose somebody without first considering the impact it will have on your estate plan.
An executor should have many qualities, including honesty and integrity. In other words, you want to trust that this person will make all the right decisions at all the right times.
Upon your passing, the last thing you want is for your loved ones to squabble. This can lead to hard feelings that last for many years.
When you choose the right executor, you know that the person will have what it takes to keep everyone on the same page. Sure, there may be times when people argue, but you want an executor who is able to stand in and make all the right decisions regardless of what’s going on around them.
An Alternative Executor
Before we go any further, keep in mind that a person does not have to accept the responsibility of being your will executor. Instead, when the time comes, they can simply say no.
Tip: to avoid this, discuss your situation with the person you choose as executor. In other words, don’t select somebody before you discuss it with him or her.
If you’re worried that a person could decline the responsibility of acting as executor, you have the right to name an alternative. This person will step in if the primary executor is unable or unwilling to take on the responsibility.
Most people can act as an executor of your will, but there are a few exceptions to be aware of:
- A person under the age of 18 cannot be an executor.
- If a person has been convicted of a felony, he or she cannot be an executor.
- Depending on your state, you may not be able to name an out-of-state executor.
It’s important to keep these restrictions in mind, as you don’t want to choose an executor who is not permitted to carry out the duty.
There is a lot to think about when choosing an executor of a will, so make sure you keep an open mind and only move forward when you are comfortable doing so.
Contact us today for a free consultation, where we will discuss a variety of other details related to estate planning.
We hope to meet you in person in the near future!