When planning your estate, there are many important choices for you to make, ranging from who should receive your vacation home to whether a living trust will be a beneficial tool. One highly important issue in your estate plan is who should serve as the executor of your Will. An executor is the person you designate in your Will who is responsible for ensuring that your estate’s debts are paid and the remaining assets are held, administered and distributed in accordance with your wishes. An executor has a wide range of responsibilities, and there are several considerations you should think about when deciding who is the right executor to name in your Will.
First, consider the financial abilities and common sense of your potential executor. It is not necessary that the person you select is a financial expert, but you do want to choose someone who is generally fiscally responsible and who makes sound decisions. You want to choose someone who is not afraid to ask for expert assistance when required, and at the same time, has enough good judgment to not need advice at every turn.
Next, consider carefully the age and health of your potential executor. Clearly, you need to choose someone who will still be around and able to serve in this capacity and fulfill the necessary duties after you pass away. To that end, choosing a friend who is in failing health would not be a good selection. Similarly, your executor needs to be over the age of eighteen, so selecting one or more of your minor children is not recommended.
Third, your executor does not have to be a resident of the same county or state as you. However, be aware that someone who is physically close to the county of your residence may have an easier time fulfilling his or her duties, especially if there are multiple court hearings. Moreover, if your chosen executor lives outside of the United States, the court may refuse to approve that person as executor at all, so it is best to select an executor who does not live abroad.
We have extensive experience helping our clients in selecting the right executor for their estates. Call us today so we can talk about your estate and what we can do to make sure your goals are achieved.