The role of an executor of an estate is an important one. For that reason, estate planners should know what to consider when selecting an executor.
Important considerations when selecting an executor
The executor selection should be carefully made and there are several important considerations that should be taken into account when naming one in an estate plan.
- Responsible: because it is the executor’s responsibility to manage the entire estate, the estate planner should select someone who is responsible.
- Organized: the executor has responsibilities including distribution of the estate, managing its liabilities and taxes so it is helpful if they are organized.
- Attention to detail: executors have to manage a significant amount of information which makes attention to detail valuable for the role.
- Experience working with financial experts: because much of managing an estate will require the executor to work with financial experts, it is helpful for the executor to have a history of doing so.
- Age and maturity: the estate planner should consider the age and maturity of the executor they name and will want to select an executor who will outlive them.
- Knowledge of family dynamics: knowledge of family dynamics can be useful for the estate planner to have.
- Ability to make difficult decisions: because executors will have to work with family members who may have different interests so it can be helpful for executor to be able to make difficult decisions.
In addition, if the estate planner is considering co-executors, they should consider executors who can work together. Physical proximity to the estate can also be a factor and it is helpful to keep in mind that the probate court will need to approve the executor selection. Selecting an executor is an important part of the estate planning process that estate planners should be prepared for.