How do you pick an executor for your estate plan?

On Behalf of | May 30, 2024 | Estate Planning

Choosing someone to execute your estate is one of the key tasks to cover in your estate plan. If you don’t make the choice, then a probate court will be forced to do it for you.

Here are some of the things to consider when deciding who to ask:

Do you trust them?

You have to be sure you can trust this person. While they won’t have an entirely free rein over your estate they will have a significant opportunity to steal money should they be that way inclined.

Would they be willing to do this for you?

Plenty of people might begrudgingly say yes, but it’s much better to find someone who will happily take on the task for you. That could be a close friend or relative, or if there is no one suitable, a professional who you pay. Acting as executor involves a lot of work and someone who doesn’t really want to do it may not do a great job.

Are they likely to be available?

You should pick someone likely to outlive you and preferably (but not necessarily) someone who lives relatively close to you as it will make completing certain tasks simpler for them. You don’t want to pick someone who is always up to their eyeballs in work either, as they may not be able to spare the time.

Are they competent?

Your executor does not need to have prior legal knowledge, but they do not need to be capable of basic math, staying organized and communicating with others.

Once you have picked someone and got their agreement you’ll need to learn how to document your choice in your estate plan.