One estate planning task you might not have considered involves naming someone to take charge of things when you die. An executor, as they are known, takes responsibility for implementing the plan you lay out in your will and broader estate plan. If your estate passes through probate, the probate court will exercise some supervision over them, but it’s best to pick someone you can trust to do the job, regardless.
Incidentally, if you do not name anyone, a court will appoint someone for you, so considering how much is at stake, it’s best to make that choice yourself. The following are some of the qualities to look for in an executor as you approach the task of naming one.
You must be able to trust the person. You don’t want someone partial to helping themself as your beneficiaries could suffer. Picking someone widely known to be an honest sort also reduces the chance that others may feel fearful your affairs will not be sorted properly.
A good communicator
You do not need someone who is chatty or the life of the party. You need someone who will have no problem keeping the relevant parties informed of progress in a way they can understand. Poor communication can lead to mistrust and problems.
Well-organized and reasonably intelligent
You don’t need to be Einstein to execute an estate, but a certain level of logic and mathematical ability is essential. As is the ability to keep things organized. If you had to choose between a chaotic genius boss and their secretary who keeps them organized, the latter would likely be a better option.
Some people choose family members, others friends or associates, while others pay for an experienced professional to take on the role. Learning more about your choices and how to formalize them in your estate plan will benefit you and those you leave behind.