Whenever you’re working on your estate plan and creating a will, you’ll need to think about who you’d like to have as an executor of your estate. You shouldn’t choose just anyone. You have to be careful about who you choose as an executor.
There are many different duties that your executor will need to participate in, and you need to know that they are able to handle them. Some of the typical duties executors perform include:
- Paying the final bills for your estate
- Collecting life insurance policies
- Distributing property based on the will
- Collecting outstanding debts
- Upkeeping property until the estate is settled
- Making appearances in probate court while settling the estate
These and other duties will need to be done, so you’ll want to have someone who has the time to handle them take over the role as you executor.
Who do people normally choose as their executors?
It’s common for people to choose a spouse, sibling, family member, adult child or friend as an executor, but there is no single person who will necessarily be better than another just due to their relationship to you.
You should choose someone who has at least some understanding of the law or who is willing to work with an attorney to handle your estate. You need to choose someone who lives near your home or the estate unless you know that the person you choose is able to travel regularly and afford the expense of going to another location to handle your estate. If one person is uncomfortable doing these tasks alone, you can choose two to have co-executors. They do need to be able to work together, though.
Do friends or family have to be your executor?
You should also know that your family members or friends don’t have to be your executor at all. Talk to them first, but if no one seems to be on board with the idea, know that you can hire someone else to handle your estate. A probate law firm is just one possible option that would let you know your estate will be handled without having to involve the people you care about.