Putting your estate plans together is an essential part of preparing for your future. Once you start, however, you may find yourself confronted by some unexpected difficulties making decisions about your plans.
For example, it may not be that easy to choose the right executor to manage your estate.
Tips that can help you avoid the wrong choice in an executor
Your executor is the person who will ultimately make certain that your estate passes through probate smoothly and that your heirs receive what you had intended.
Here are some of the things you need to ask yourself about your possible choices:
- Are they responsible enough for the job? Maybe they don’t have any kind of background in finance, but they should be efficient and organized. They should also be the sort of person that has the common sense to get help with the job if they need it.
- Are they in a good place financially? Your executor will likely need to be bonded once they start the probate process, which means that they must have a decent credit history.
- Are they able to handle the family pressure? A death in the family usually creates intense feelings, and some of your heirs may have very strong opinions about your estate. You need an executor who can stick to your will without caving to pressure.
- Are they younger than you? Picking your brother, for example, as your executor may not be a good idea if you’re close in age. It’s wise to at least have at least one person on your list of executors who is significantly younger.
- Do they get along with everybody? Picking your oldest child as executor is a bad idea if they don’t get along with their siblings. That can lead to massive legal entanglements and a dispute over the estate in the future.
Working with a seasoned attorney as you sort through your options can help make your choices clearer.