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What should you consider when selecting an executor for your estate?

On Behalf of | Jun 18, 2021 | Estate Planning |

Not everyone is an ideal candidate to be the executor of your estate. The person has to be trustworthy a willing to take their role seriously. In addition, they need to act on your behalf in a legal capacity once you are gone.

Some of their potential responsibilities include: selling your property, filing lawsuits for the estate, paying creditors, reviewing your medical records, filing your final tax return and distributing assets. An irresponsible person would thus not be suited to serve as your executor.

Whom can you appoint to serve as your estate’s executor if you’re having difficulty identifying someone who fits the bill?

You can potentially hire a bank, trust company, attorney or accountant to serve as your executor if you don’t know someone who fits the responsibility definition. You’ll want to keep in mind that these types of companies or individuals charge fees for their services. Those fees could be cost-prohibitive depending on the size of your estate.

What attributes should a Virginia executor have?

Ideally, you want to choose an executor who is in good financial standing. If a person has liens against them, bad credit, bankruptcies or no credit history, they may not be good candidates. The court often requires a person to be bonded for insurance purposes when acting as an executor. A bonding company won’t bond someone who could be a legal or financial liability.

It’s might also be important that the person you select as your executor is younger than you and in good health. You do not want the person to die before you or the completion of the probate process.

Who should you steer clear of appointing as executor of your estate?

Some individuals are typically not eligible to serve as executors. Such people include non-U.S. citizens living outside the country, those with criminal records, minors and anyone with a history of mental instability.

Why it’s essential to select an executor now

Choosing an executor is the first part of the will drafting process. You may need to appoint a new one if you’re revising your will after a move as well. Selecting an executor isn’t always easy, but it is critical. In addition, an experienced attorney can provide you with questions you might want to ask your prospective executor to ensure that you minimize potential issues for your loved ones down the road.