VanAntwerp Attorneys, LLP
Phone: 606-618-0698

How to choose an executor for your will

Choosing the executor of your will is a major decision. Your executor will be charged with the immense and often complicated task of managing your assets when you are gone. It is important to choose someone who is both up to the challenge and supportive of your best interests.

What are your options?

You have many options when it comes to choosing an executor. You can appoint a friend or family member or choose multiple people to serve as co-executors. You can also hire a professional to be your executor.

What does an executor do exactly?

An executor is the person responsible for ensuring your assets and debts are properly handled after you pass away. This can include gathering the assets, creating an inventory, paying debts, distributing the assets according to your wishes and representing your estate if there are any claims against it.

What should you consider when choosing?

It is important to consider the responsibilities of the executor role when deciding who the best fit is. It may also be wise to consider someone who is likely to outlive you. They should be responsible with money, have strong organizational skills, have the time to handle your affairs, and have your best interests in mind. Above all, they should be someone you trust to carry out your wishes.

Someone who fits these characteristics may be a family member or a good friend. They may also be someone you hire.

Hiring a third-party executive

Some people choose to forego the decision of which friend or family member to appoint in favor of appointing a professional. The benefit of hiring someone outside of your circle to manage your estate is that you eliminate any conflict of interest.

If a beneficiary does not like how you bequeathed your assets, or a business partner has something to gain, it can pose problems during the execution of your will. An unbiased third-party eliminates this possibility and frees you from tasking a loved one with this complicated process. Of course, if you do appoint a friend or family member, they can choose to hire help as well.

Why appointing a trusted friend or family member works

Your friends and family members naturally have your best interests in mind, which is a good place to start. If your estate is not particularly large or complicated, they may be able to navigate the process on their own - especially if they have the traits we mentioned above.

At any point, your executor can choose to get assistance with the probate process - something many executors decide to do. An experienced probate lawyer can take over the process for them, ensuring everything is handled correctly.

In the end, it is up to you to determine with whom you are most comfortable. It is possible to change the executor of your will if you appoint someone and later decide it was not the right choice. An attorney can assist you in both appointing an executor and changing one.

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