How to choose the right executor for your estate

The expected duties and responsibilities of an executor could overwhelm a seemingly sensible and responsible person. So how do you choose the right person for the job?

How do you appoint an executor?

Firstly, it is important to remember being an executor is a kind of job. It carries legal liability and serious consequences for your family and estate. To protect both, you will need to select the best candidate for the position.

In your will, you can name the person you would like to serve this role. Many people choose one of the following:

  • Spouse or partner
  • Sibling
  • Child
  • Very close friend

However, the people closest to you might be the ones most affected by your passing. They might choose to turn down the offer for personal reasons. Unless you name alternate executors, a judge will appoint another person of their choosing.

The person you select must be willing to carry out the financial and personal matters related to your estate. They should be someone you trust to look through your personal files and meet legal deadlines.

Can you name someone who will inherit?

Conflict of interest is a relevant question when it comes to legal documents or proceedings. Is it “better” that a neutral third party serve as an executor?

Your choice is a highly personal one. However, an executor who is also a beneficiary will have a bit of self-interest in dividing your estate correctly. It is always a good idea to discuss the position of executor with the person to avoid surprises or unexpected burdens.

If other benefactors suspect that an executor is not performing their duties honorably or correctly, they can seek legal intervention. This option helps to maintain a system of checks and balance for whomever you choose.

When it comes to estate planning, the person you choose as executor should be a person you trust to lead the effort in settling your affairs. When you take the time to select this person carefully, you help not only your legacy but also help your family and friends in their grieving process.

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