Who should be the executor of your will? There may not be many people quickly raising their hands to volunteer for this time-consuming and often thankless position. This is why you must prepare, research and take careful consideration for this crucial role in estate administration.
You want an executor who likely had previous experience in this role and takes decisive action to accomplish things. However, mainly, you want someone who is willing, trustworthy, unflappable and effective. In having the right executor in place, the settling of your estate likely will go without any turbulence.
Reliable, willing and organized
Whittle down your list of prospective executors and talk to them about their willingness to enlist. But maybe you have the right person in mind immediately; someone who makes the right fit and you know will get the job done.
Among the important qualities needed in an executor include:
- Trustworthiness and responsibility: You want to make sure the person in charge of settling your estate understands the need to be reliable and faithful in handling these duties.
- Availability and willingness: Make sure this person has the time on his or her calendar and remains willing to perform the required duties.
- Organized: You want someone ready to tackle the duties that may include paying off debts, tracking down beneficiaries obtaining death certificates and contacting the Social Security Administration. Efficiency is crucial with every step.
- Well-versed in financial matters: The executor should have a good grasp of money matters. This may include knowing the importance of paying outstanding taxes and settling certain investments.
- Calmness and level-headedness: The executor may find himself or herself thrust into financial battles between heirs and beneficiaries. This person must stay calm — despite the drama — and help settle conflicts.
- Confidence and patience: The tasks vary. Some may go smoothly and others not so smoothly when dealing with family feuds, creditors, attorneys and judges.
With a trustworthy and level-headed executor in place, the successful settlement of your estate is not far away. Your heirs and beneficiaries may be glad to know, too.