Choosing an Executor – Factors to Consider
When you make a will, you will have to name someone to serve as Executor. That person will be required to submit your will to probate and to administer your estate as you have provided in your will.
Often, a responsible and fair-minded family member will be chosen, if the estate administration is expected to be fairly straightforward or if a family member is a professional with experience in financial and related matters. In the case of a complicated estate, a professional person or trust institution may be preferred, but keep in mind that an institutional fiduciary may be more costly than an individual. You may inquire about institutional rates and fees in making this choice. In any event, your Executor will need to be represented by an attorney, and will need to hire professionals as needed, such as real estate appraisers and tax professionals.
Qualities to look for in an individual executor include intelligence, trustworthiness, availability and willingness to serve as executor, ability to get along with others and to solve disputes. You may consider the person’s health and age, if these may affect his or her ability to perform the required duties.
It is advisable to familiarize your prospective executor with your will, your wishes, and the nature of your assets, when you are preparing your estate documents. It is also advisable to name an alternate executor to serve in the event that your primary executor is or becomes unable or unavailable to serve after your death.