Who will carry out your wishes? The vital role of the executor

On Behalf of | Mar 1, 2022 | Estate Planning |

Executors are the individual who handles the administration of a deceased person’s estate. The role is far more involved than just reading a will. They pay bills incurred by the deceased, taxes owed, oversee the transfer of assets to beneficiaries, and other essential details outlined in the will.

Pick the right person for the job

You can pick just about anyone to fill the role of executor, but people often prefer a spouse, sibling or adult child. While blood is thicker than water, the person needs to have certain abilities to do the job effectively:

  • Honest: They must fulfill the wishes of the decadent.
  • Organized: There is a certain amount of paperwork involved.
  • Communication skills: They need to communicate with family members and other beneficiaries, ideally keeping them updated and minimizing disagreements among loved ones.

Those without these qualities can cause undue stress, frustration or complications among the grieving loved ones if they do not perform the job properly. Perhaps it makes sense not to choose a spouse who is unaccustomed to handling these kinds of details.

Making the right decision

Picking a beneficiary can motivate them to do the work involved in being the executor. Still, there may be issues involving the appearance of favoritism, so it might be better to choose a neutral outside party like an attorney to handle the details. Because people may change their minds about doing it, it also makes sense to pick an alternative. Another critical component may be choosing someone who lives in the same area where most of the assets are located.

Planning provides peace of mind

Having an executor in place and all the details of the estate updated can provide peace of mind to loved ones and beneficiaries. Those interesting in drafting or updating their will can discuss options in choosing an executor with family or an attorney who handles estate law matters.

FindLaw Network