An important part of estate planning is choosing an executor to oversee everything in the event of death. The role is nothing to take lightly, so it is a good idea to consider different factors before naming one.
Because the role of executor is demanding, it is also a good idea for the candidates to consider if they are up for the task so they do not get in over their heads.
Considerations for choosing an executor
According to Forbes, upon death, the executor is in charge of managing all aspects of the estate, from asset distribution to paying bills to filing taxes. Due to the amount of responsibility attached to the role, choose someone who is attentive to detail, trustworthy and is mature but will still be around in years to come.
Although it helps if the person has some knowledge about finances and the law, it is not absolutely necessary. However, he or she should feel comfortable hiring those who do have experience in these areas. You can choose to have a sole executor or more than one. Some choose a financial person and then a family member as co-executor.
Considerations for potential executor
The time spent as an executor for one estate can take years, depending on the complexity. U.S. News and World Report advises that potential executors should understand what the role involves before saying yes. Make sure the time is available for reviewing the will, evaluating assets, tracking down beneficiaries, doing taxes and taking meetings with lawyers and financial advisors. You may also need to hire people for upkeep on the property and pay off debt.
Being chosen as an executor is an honor, but make sure it is a role you are willing to fulfill.