In estate planning, your executor is the person who will carry out your final wishes. He or she will have to handle probate court, collect assets, pay debts and distribute your estate. The executor has various roles to play and your choice will determine how smoothly the process goes.
Fortunately, there are tips to determine if you chose the correct executor.
Does your executor have the time to distribute your assets?
It can take, on average, about 16 months to settle an estate. Think about your choices and determine which ones have the time and energy to settle your estate. If your choice has a large family or a demanding job, he or she may be overwhelmed by the role of executor. While most people have a variety of obligations, you should look for someone that knows how to juggle various responsibilities. Look for someone in your life who can remain organized during times of stress.
Can your executor handle the stress?
An executor should have a calm demeanor and be capable of handling stressful situations. Additionally, he or she needs to understand your financial situation and goals. While the executor does not need to have experience in finance, it does help if they do. If you have a complex estate or a high net worth, consider naming co-executors. You can choose one personal executor and a more biased, professional executor like a financial advisor.
Always talk to your executor choice ahead of naming him or her. You do not want to surprise someone with the role.