You have many important decisions to make when creating an estate plan. When it comes to naming the executor of your will, it's a good idea to consider all of your options before making a final decision.
Generally speaking, an executor is staffed with the responsibility of taking care of any remaining financial obligations after your passing. Some of the most common duties include:
- Organizing assets
- Distributing assets
- Maintaining assets
- Paying taxes and debts for the estate
- Making court appearances as necessary
With so many key responsibilities, it's a must to choose the right executor. While you can choose almost anyone to take on this role, it doesn't mean you should make a rash decision. Most people start by considering the following individuals:
- Adult child
- Close friend
How to narrow down your choices
Narrowing your list moves you closer toward a final decision. The best way to do this is to make a list of key qualities that you want your executor to have:
- Honesty: You must be able to trust that your executor follows your instructions upon your death, while never doing anything to better themselves.
- Organization: Even a simple estate plan can be difficult to organize. Your executor should have advanced organizational skills, as this will allow them to juggle many different responsibilities without losing track of key details.
- Communication: Your executor will communicate with many people during the estate administration process. From the court to creditors to tax departments to beneficiaries, keeping a clear and open line of communication is a must.
- Financial knowledge: It's not required, but financial knowledge will go a long way in helping your executor make the right decisions at the right time. For instance, knowledge of taxes always comes in handy.
It doesn't matter if you're choosing the executor of your will for the first time or making a change to your estate plan, take your time and consider all of your options. If you don't, you could end up making a mistake that causes your loved ones trouble after your death.
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