Tips for Selecting Your Executor

When you die, you want to make certain that your estate is dispersed according to your wishes. Selecting the right executor is a key part of ensuring this occurs. The executor acts on your behalf and has all of the legal powers regarding your property as you did. They are able to pay your debts, sell your property, file lawsuits on your behalf, and distribute any of your assets as they believe you would want them distributed. It’s obviously an important task, so it’s vital that you pick the right person. Here are a few tips to ensure you’ve named the right executor.

They’re Responsible

Handling someone’s estate is not easy or a light responsibility. You want to make certain that your executor is going to be up to it. They need to understand what handling an estate means, be able to communicate with everyone involved, and make decisions regarding your estate. Your executor can be a family member or close friend, but you can also name your attorney or accountant to serve as your executor. Just note that they will often charge an additional fee.

It Should Be Someone You Trust

You’re leaving this person in charge of your estate, so it goes without saying that you need to trust this person. Your executor should be someone you know won’t take advantage of the position. You want to know that they will handle your affairs as you would wish. They also need to be level-headed and able to handle the task you’re giving them.

Try to Avoid Creating Resentment

If you know one of your heirs dislikes another, you may want to avoid naming either of them as your executor. This could set up a situation in which the executor uses their power against the person or people they dislike. You could name both of these individuals as your co-executors in order to make them work together, or you could select a neutral third party to serve as your executor.

There Are Requirements

Another important factor to consider is whether or not your executor will meet the qualifications the court requires. For example, those with a criminal past may not necessarily be approved since the executors do have financial power over the estate. Minors or non-citizens who live outside of the U.S. also usually cannot serve as the sole executor.

Do you have questions about who can serve as your executor, or do you want some help in selecting your executor? The legal experts at Michael F. Kanzer & Associates are here to assist you in any way necessary.

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