The executor of an estate is the person tasked with making sure everything goes well in the event of your passing. Essentially, this person is supposed to take care of the expenses of the estate, value the assets in the estate and distribute according to the estate plan. An individual becomes an executor either by getting named so within the will or by court appointment.
So how do you choose the right person? It can be difficult. It is nice to have someone that you know well serve in this role, someone that you feel will respect your wishes. However, it is also important to balance the possibility that emotions could come into play when the person takes on this role. A recent post by Estate of Conflict, a publication that focuses on risks that can arise during estate plan preparation, dug into this issue. Three specific traits that were most useful from this piece include:
- Cooperation. Ideally, choose someone that tends to have a cooperative personality. Will this individual work well with others that are impacted by the estate? Or will this person cause additional strife?
- Communication. The executor will need to communicate with a number of individuals including heirs, accountants and financial planners. Strong communication skills are an asset in this position.
- Organization. Although not the most difficult job in the world, serving as an executor requires some basic common sense and business savvy. The individual in this position will need to manage the estate and should be able to keep track of the process in an orderly manner.
An executor with these traits is more likely to administer the estate in an efficient and orderly manner. Listing such an individual within your estate plan will ultimately save the estate money and reduce the risk of frustration amongst heirs.