5 Considerations When Appointing Your Executor
In addition, a family member or friend may not have the experience or skills necessary to properly serve as your Executor.
Understanding the Role of ExecutorTo make sure you appoint the right Executor when creating your Will, you need to have a clear understanding of what an Executor does during the probate of your estate. Among the most common duties and responsibilities of an Executor include:
• Identifying and protecting the estate assets.
• Notifying creditors and paying claims.
• Litigating any claims.
• Calculating and paying taxes.
• Distributing estate assets.
Is a Family Member or Close Friend the Right Choice?When deciding who to appoint as your Executor your first thought may be to appoint a family member or close friend. One advantage of appointing a friend or family member is that they know you well and are more likely to make the right choice when faced with a discretionary decision. Another practical advantage is that an Executor is entitled to a fee for his/her service. A family member or friend is likely to waive that fee, saving your estate money.
Why a Family Member or Close Friend Might Not Be the Best ChoiceAlthough your first instinct might be to appoint a family member or friend, there are a few good reasons not to do so. The people closest to you will be grieving your loss following your death which may make it difficult for them to focus on the tasks involved in probating your estate. In addition, a family member or friend may not have the experience or skills necessary to properly serve as your Executor.
What Makes a Good Executor?Probating an estate typically requires knowledge of both the applicable laws and financial matters. Although your Executor will likely hire a probate attorney to help with the probate of your estate, you should ideally appoint someone with a legal and/or financial background himself/herself. You may even wish to appoint a professional, such as an attorney or bank to handle the probate of your estate if the estate involves complex and/or valuable assets.
Discuss Your Intentions with Your Chosen ExecutorOne issue people often overlook when appointing an Executor is whether the individual is willing to serve in the role. Never assume someone wants to take on the role of your Executor, even if they are a spouse, adult child, or best friend. Always discuss the appointment with them first before you make it official in your Last Will and Testament.