Many California residents have heard of the importance of having an estate plan. When you begin work on yours, what should you prioritize? 

You should look for an executor for your estate before you do anything else. This person is crucial to how management of your affairs goes after you pass. 

What are universal traits of good executors? 

HuffPost takes a critical look at this question. What do you look for in an executor? Some qualities vary from person to person. This is because you and your executor should share similar views. You should have compatibility. Your morals and principles should align, at least to a degree. Some people prefer picking someone who answers any question in the same way they would answer it. Others are loose with their wants. As long as their executor represents their goals and desires, this is enough for them. 

Some qualities are in almost every successful executor. For example, most executors have strong organizational skills. They are task-oriented and capable of managing big scale projects. They have strong communication skills. They understand how to work with others. They submit work on time. They are conscious of deadlines and stick to them. They do not need other people to manage them. 

Why should your executor have a clear schedule? 

Also, executors should have free time into the foreseeable future. Probate takes a year or more to get through. Experts suggest people to select executors with no big projects on the horizon. This may include starting a family or starting a new business venture. It also includes plans to move. 

It is often difficult to find someone who fits these categories. But once you do, you have a key piece of your estate plan in place.