Wednesday, October 30, 2013
Choosing the right person to be executor can ensure your assets will undergo a smooth transition. But selecting the wrong person can burden your heirs with financial hassles, family conflicts, and legal problems. Here are nine things to consider when reviewing candidates to be the executor of your estate:
- Health. Pick someone in good health who is younger than you. A dead or mentally infirm executor will be of little help in your estate administration.
- Willingness. Being an executor is a time-consuming job. Make sure your potential executor is up for it.
- Intentions. Don’t assume a potential executor knows why you’re leaving what to whom. Make your intentions clear.
- Expertise. If you have a complex estate, choose someone with expertise in managing assets or financial affairs. Consider the professional executor services offered by the big banks.
- Proximity. Try to choose an executor living in the same jurisdiction as your assets.
- Quantity. Consider hiring a second or third executor.
- Family. Consider naming a family member as an executor who understands you and your intentions, but not if this may lead to conflict among heirs.
- Review. Every year, review your choice or choices to ensure they are still competent. Also, have one or two backup choices.
- Organization. Ensure your choice as executor has a copy of your latest will and other important financial documents.
See James Dolan, Hiring an Executor, Advisor to Client, Sept. 5, 2013.