When you run a business, you often have to have good instincts about people. You have to decide whom you will trust, what businesses and leaders you will work closely with and who to hire to help your business grow. When you create an estate plan, you have another important decision to make when it comes to choosing someone to trust: who will serve as your estate executor.
You may not realize how you can use your skills about understanding people when choosing your executor. You even may feel uncertain about who to choose to oversee the distribution of your assets. So, here are seven tips to keep in mind to help you choose the right estate executor:
- You want to choose someone who is responsible, who will know when they need to hire an accountant or attorney when needed. You also want someone who will work to settle your estate quickly and take their responsibility seriously.
- You want to choose someone who has experience handling financial and tax matters and can handle the financial responsibility involved in settling your estate.
- You want to choose someone who is financially stable. You don’t want to choose someone who has numerous debts or has declared personal bankruptcy. Your estate executor may need to become bonded to distribute your assets. Bonding companies may not bond someone who is seen as a bad financial risk.
- You want to choose someone younger than you are, someone who is likely to outlive you.
- You want to choose someone who is emotionally grounded. You don’t want to select someone who may use their ability to distribute your assets to create drama among your beneficiaries or someone who will try to get revenge against other heirs.
- You want to choose someone who can stay impartial. Some of your beneficiaries may try to sway your executor to make decisions that would benefit them. You want someone who will follow your wishes and remain fair to all your beneficiaries.
- You want to choose someone who is available and willing. It may take at least a year to settle your estate, so you want to choose an executor who understands the work and time involved and is willing to complete this job.
Choosing an executor for your estate is an important decision. You want to take the time to evaluate who could handle the responsibilities involved and make sure that person is willing to take on this role. In the end, you want to have peace of mind that whomever you choose will do their best to follow your instructions and settle your estate fairly, accurately and in the way you intended.