You could spend weeks contemplating the division of your property among your loved ones when you die, but those efforts could be in vain without the right executor to carry out your wishes. An executor has to manage your property, sell it for a fair price and distribute belongings among your beneficiaries. They also need to file your taxes and repay your debts.
You need someone competent, organized and trustworthy to fill that role. How do you choose the right executor for your estate?
Choose someone you trust who has no conflict of interest
If you have three children whom you want to help with your estate plan, naming one of them as executor may not be the best idea. Even if they do everything according to your wishes, there could be distrust by their siblings or others that they’re acting in their own interests.
It is usually better to select someone you trust to handle your assets and to follow your wishes who isn’t among the primary beneficiaries of the estate. Some people turn to co-workers or close friends. For others, the best option when naming an executor might be to choose a professional fiduciary to administer their estate.
A careful review of your biggest assets and the current circumstances of the people who might properly fill the role of executor can help you select several likely candidates. You can then discuss the role with each of them and choose someone willing to perform those tasks. Choosing the right executor can be as important as the decisions you make about how to pass your assets on to the next generation.