WHO SHOULD BE YOUR EXECUTOR?
Often when I meet with clients they want to know who to name as the executor of their estate -- a spouse, a child, a friend or even a corporate Fiduciary. The decision is very important as an executor is responsible for making sure a person's last wishes are granted with regards to their property and possessions. Specifically, an executor of a will must ensure that any debts and creditors that the deceased had are paid off, and that any remaining money or property is distributed according to their wishes. With these big responsibilities, you should contemplate these questions before you make a choice:
Is your executor capable of serving?
Does your choice want to serve?
Where does he/she reside?
Will you provide compensation for the Executor?
Is your choice able to work with siblings or other family members?
Choosing a competent executor ensures the prompt, accurate distribution of your possessions with a minimum of family friction. Some of the duties required include: gathering assets, filing tax returns and managing the probate process. A qualified executor must be trustworthy, organized, experienced and good with deadlines and working with beneficiaries.
ASK YOUR CHOICE
You will want to ask your choice first so he/she is aware of the proposed appointment under your Will. If he/she isn't sure of the responsibilities, encourage your executor to call on an expert like an attorney to guide them through the process. If your choice declines, you can name an attorney, third party bank or trust company experienced in estate settlement. These options can be a more neutral party when it comes to other beneficiaries and family relationships.
REVIEW YOUR FINANCES
After you have decided upon an executor, if appropriate, review your financial details with him/her or at least let him/her know where you keep all your important documents and financial information. This will make it easier after you're gone and help to ensure that your wishes are carried out.
Attention to this choice now will save your loved ones additional grief in the future.