Estate planning is more than merely writing a will. There are many vital pieces of the estate administration puzzle such as establishing trusts, power of attorneys and living wills. One such piece of the puzzle is choosing an executor.

An executor is a person assigned to follow and administer the will of the deceased. They are responsible for ensuring your final wishes are respected, including distributing assets, paying off debts, contacting inheritors and even canceling credit cards. Executors have many important tasks to accomplish, which can make the role challenging to fill.

These are some factors to consider when choosing your executor:

  • Availability – Being an executor can be a demanding job. Whoever you choose must be willing and able to fulfill their tasks, sometimes even at short notice. Family or friends who travel a lot or have busy schedules might not be the best option.
  • Objectivity – An executor may face push-back from your surviving relatives regarding inheritances, probate and other issues. Someone open-minded and level-headed can make decisions without influence.
  • Age – You should consider the age and health of those around you when deciding on an executor. As this is a challenging position, you might not want to assign a friend or relative who struggles with health issues or may not be around in the future.
  • Location – Choosing someone who lives close by can be the best option for an executor. It minimizes the amount of travel they’ll need to do, and it ensures any issues that arise are taken care of quickly.
  • Trustworthy – Of course, whoever you choose to be your executor must be someone you trust. You should feel confident when assigning them this role because you believe they have your best interests at heart and will follow your wishes.

An executor is an essential part of your estate planning process. Finding the appropriate person for the job can be tricky, but it’s possible. Discuss the role with your friends and family so they’re aware of the scope of the position. With careful consideration, you’re sure to find someone ready and willing to step up to the task.