When creating a will, one of the steps is appointing an executor who will ensure your wishes are followed. Executors have crucial responsibilities, including protecting assets before distribution, paying debts owned by the estate and filing tax returns, among others.
You can have one or more executors, and it can be a family member or a trusted party – but it has to be someone responsible. Below are two tips for choosing an executor:
1. Look at how they manage their life
It may be easier to spot a responsible person by analyzing how they manage their life. Aspects to consider are communication capabilities, dependability, decision-making skills and honoring commitments. Someone who constantly makes excuses or blames others for their actions may not be the best choice for an executor.
2. Look at how they manage their finances
An executor with a good financial foundation can file appropriate tax returns, determine liabilities on the estate and pay them, understand the market value of assets at the time of distribution and conduct transactions. This may help prevent costly mistakes.
Further, someone with high debts, no credit history or has filed for bankruptcy may pose challenges in the future. Unless stated otherwise, the probate court requires executors to give a surety bond to protect beneficiaries should they mishandle the estate. The court may fail to approve the bond of a financially unstable person, and if they are the only executor you appointed, beneficiaries may face a challenging process.
It’s crucial to choose the right executor to protect and distribute assets efficiently. You should also create a quality will that declares your wishes clearly to avoid misunderstandings.