After you pass away and your will becomes accepted for probate, there will need to be a will executor whose job it is to handle crucial legal tasks. This list may include selling your property or assets, paying creditors, dealing with lawsuits, reviewing crucial documents such as medical records, and dividing all your assets to others. As such, the role of a will executor is very vital and is not something to take lightly. That’s why there are a few traits and considerations to make before choosing an executor.
Only Pick Parties that are Responsible
While it’s pretty common to choose a friend, family member, or even an heir to be a will executor, this doesn’t always have to be the case. Although choosing an attorney, bank or trust company, or accountant will be more expensive as they will charge additional fees, you will want to make sure that the party you choose is responsible.
While there’s nothing wrong with choosing a close friend or family member, you must make sure that they will fulfill your wishes as accurately as possible and that they are responsible enough to make decisions in your place. However, being a will executor doesn’t necessarily mean you have to be well-versed in the law or be a math wizard. Most of the time it simply means that you have good intentions and a clear picture of what your role should be and know when to seek outside help such as a lawyer when necessary.
That’s why if you’re wanting to designate a friend or family member as a will executor, you should talk with them first to see if they’re willing to handle the responsibility.
Choose Someone with Good Financial Standing
People with questionable credit history, many creditors against them, or people who have declared bankruptcy aren’t good choices. The main reason is that they can’t get bonded. Bonding is a type of insurance that many courts need to have for probate cases. The way bonding works is that it pays beneficiaries if an executor steals state funds. If the courts feel that the executor is at financial risk then they may not honor your decision of will executor.
Name a Younger Successor
Things can change throughout the longevity of your estate which is why it’s a good idea to name a younger successor. Although they don’t have to be the primary will executor, having a clause that stipulates an additional successor in case your first choice is unable to fulfill their duties is key. Doing so will ensure that there’s a backup plan in place. After all, especially for people who have large estates, it’s not unusual for them to write their will during their life long before they believe that they will pass away.
Having an Experienced Attorney
Lastly, having an experienced attorney on your side can make a huge difference. They can help you with all aspects of your estate planning including how to choose a will executor. Additionally, if there is no suitable candidate, you can enlist the help of an experienced estate planning lawyer from Holbon Law.