Choosing Your Executor
Your will is the legally binding expression of your wishes for the distribution of your property. The executor’s job is to administer the estate and carry out those wishes. Choosing the executor [personal representative] for your estate is one of the most important decisions you will make. The executor has significant responsibilities—some of which may be difficult or confusing; and may have 1-2 years of work that carries not only legal liability, but also the risk of unpopularity with estate legatees. For these reasons, you should give careful thought to your choice of executor. You should always name a second choice [successor executor] in your will in case your first choice is unable or unwilling to serve, or predeceases you. If you don’t make a choice, the probate court will!
Things to consider when choosing an Executor
- Trustworthiness—do you trust this person with the important task of carrying out your wishes?
- Capability—can this person handle the complexities of finance, investment, tax and legal requirements?
- Impartiality—can this person remain impartial during any controversy or conflict among family members?
- Age—is this person likely to live at least 5 years longer than you?
- Proximity—does this person live nearby so that executor duties can be performed promptly?
- Willingness—is this person willing to take on this responsibility?
- Understanding—does this person understand what’s required?
View our complete guide for Choosing Your Executor