Decatur Family Law and Probate Attorney

Choosing an executor for your estate

On Behalf of | Mar 25, 2024 | probate administration

Choosing an executor is an important part of the estate planning process. It is not a decision you should make quickly or hastily.

An executor is the person in charge of administering your estate after you pass away. They have many responsibilities including inventorying and valuing your assets, paying any of your outstanding debts and distributing the assets to your beneficiaries.

Your first choice for an executor may be a family member, which is understandable. Many people choose a spouse or child.

Characteristics of a good executor

However, remember that your executor is someone you expect to still be around after you pass away. You should generally select someone younger than you who is in good health. Therefore, a spouse might not always be the wisest choice.

In addition to these considerations, your executor should be someone trustworthy and responsible. An executor is required to provide an accounting for the estate to a court.

Your executor should be someone you trust to honestly value and distribute your assets, without keeping the funds for themselves.

Choose someone you not only trust, but who you believe can fulfill all the duties of an executor. The process of administering an estate involves many steps that must be completed correctly and deadlines that must be met.

Your executor should be someone who will see the process through to the end and stay on top of the requirements.

Options outside of a family member

If you do not have a family member you want to appoint as an executor, you can select a friend, but remember to keep the above considerations in mind.

A third option for choosing an executor is to name a third party, such as a bank, attorney or other professional with experience serving as an executor.

Finally, talk with your potential executor and get their agreement to serve as the executor. Review the tasks and responsibilities associated with being an executor ahead of time so they know what to expect when the time comes.