As you create your will, you must make many decisions – some of them are easy and swift, while others take a greater amount of thought. One such decision in the latter category is choosing an executor.
Not just anyone can complete the many duties of this important and often thankless role. You want the right person, someone who is the right fit to help settle your estate, pay outstanding bills and taxes, serve as a referee in family disputes and distribute assets.
Trustworthy, calm and organized
Here are some important characteristics to have in an executor:
- Trustworthy: With a trusted person as executor, you know that the job will get properly done no matter how long it takes. Reliability is an essential trait.
- Financially savvy: A good executor has some knowledge of financial investments, real estate and money matters.
- Available: Make sure your choice can free his or her schedule to take on the numerous tasks of an executor. After all, it may take more than a year to settle the estate.
- Calm and level-headed: This characteristic comes in handy when disputes arise between heirs. In this role, the executor also must deal with overzealous creditors demanding payment.
- Loyal: You want to find someone who is grounded in loyalty to the estate and will not cave in to demands and threats of heirs.
- Organized: The prioritization of tasks is crucial for any executor. Tasks may include gathering assets, obtaining the death certificate, providing instructions on dealing with inherited IRAs, paying creditors and taxes and contacting a real estate agent to sell a home.
- Confident: A self-assured person in this role should make matters go a bit smoothly. This person is up for the challenge and ready to complete it.
A solid executor will be a champion for your estate and you. Make sure you choose the right person.
Gaining an advantage with the right person
Please take great care when selecting an executor. Also make sure that you discuss this situation with any prospective candidate to make sure that he or she is comfortable in serving in this role. Your estate will gain an advantage with the right person as executor.