Many decisions come with creating an estate plan. Will or trust? Who are your beneficiaries? How will you divide your assets? And, among the most important, who will serve as the executor?
The executor of a will has endless duties in settling an estate, which may take more than a year. Tasks on an executor’s checklist include paying outstanding bills and taxes, tracking down assets and beneficiaries, and even serving as a referee when disputes arise among heirs and beneficiaries. You have to find the right and willing person to fulfill this role.
Reliable, organized and calm
Here are some of the essential traits that you want in an executor:
- Reliable, responsible and trustworthy: You want someone who has the estate’s best interests in mind and will not make poor decisions.
- Available: This role takes a great amount of time. Make sure this person has the capacity to complete each duty.
- Organized: An efficient executor knows what must be done and focuses on priorities. There also is a great amount of paperwork to collect.
- Confident: You want someone who has the self-assurance to perform this role.
- Calm and level-headed: This is a crucial characteristic when dealing with aggressive creditors or resolving disputes among heirs.
- Has the strength and endurance: This person must accept this challenge wholeheartedly with gusto and stamina. Also, consider the age of your executor. An older person may not have the energy.
- Financially savvy: You will gain greater peace of mind knowing your chosen executor understands investments, real estate issues and how to effectively work with state and federal governments and creditors.
Have some serious discussions with the people whom you would consider as the executor. Make sure this person is comfortable in this role and understands that it is time-consuming and often a thankless job.
A solid and reliable executor
Having the right person in the executor role is crucial. The goal is to settle the estate with minor obstacles. Having a solid and reliable executor may make that happen. Your loved ones will thank you.