You naturally want the right person to be the executor who will handle your estate. You want someone you can trust. You know that it’s important to pick someone who understands your wishes and respects them. You also want someone who is both capable of understanding their responsibilities as an executor and reliable enough to carry them out.
But those aren’t the only things you need to consider when you name an executor. Here are four key things you shouldn’t overlook when evaluating the candidates:
- Is this person capable of being neutral and objective? You don’t want an executor who is easily swayed by powerful personalities — nor do you want someone who will bully your heirs. Picking someone who will stay objective is important.
- Is this person physically up to the job? Being the executor of someone’s estate is a big job — and it can be stressful. Someone who is in ill health may not be up to the task. Similarly, you probably don’t want to name someone much older than yourself your executor, in case they precede you in death.
- Does this person have the time? There are a lot of deadlines involved with handling someone’s estate. Someone who is constantly on the go for work or who is self-employed may not have the time to spare.
- Does this person live nearby? It can be difficult to manage an estate from a distance. It could require extensive travel on your executor’s part and a lot of additional expenses for your estate.
Making these kinds of decisions about your estate can be hard — which is why it’s smart to sit down with an attorney and talk through your options. There may be some solutions to your estate planning needs that you haven’t even considered.