A will is a legal document that can enable you to dictate explicitly and comprehensively what you want to happen to your estate when you die. You must select an executor to fulfill your last wishes and carry out the specific instructions you put in your will. They will be responsible for managing your estate after your death and distributing your assets to your beneficiaries after paying off outstanding debts.
The executor you choose can ensure a smooth transition of assets and minimize potential conflicts among beneficiaries. However, they can also mismanage your assets, cause delays and even trigger legal disputes among heirs. Therefore, before you name an executor, you might want to consider asking yourself whether they are the right person for the job.
Here are questions that can help you decide:
Is the person organized?
Managing an estate requires meticulous record-keeping and attention to detail. The executor must be able to locate and inventory all your estate assets. If you have probate assets, they must ensure they meet court deadlines and requirements. The executor you choose should have sufficient organizational skills.
Does the person understand financial matters?
Your executor will have to notify your creditors, pay your debts and file tax returns for the estate. They must know how to make investment decisions regarding the assets and keep a detailed record of the transactions. An executor who does not understand financial matters can make irreversible mistakes and cause unnecessary burdens to your beneficiaries.
Does the person communicate effectively?
The executor will have to deal with a variety of different personalities and individuals. They should be able to communicate your wishes effectively to avoid disputes and minimize conflicts.
Does the person have the time and willingness?
The executor must give a lot of their time to fulfill their obligations accurately and comprehensively. You want to choose someone who is willing to commit time and effort to get the job done.
Can you trust the person to be your executor?
The person you name as your executor should be someone you trust will act with good faith in the best interests of your estate and beneficiaries. More than anything, you want to know you can trust them to protect your legacy and the loved ones you leave behind.