You know you need someone to administer your estate, but you may not know who should serve in that role. What criteria should you prioritize?
Kiplinger provides insights for selecting an executor with whom you are comfortable and who can care for your estate after your death.
Good financial health
Because estates involve assets, your executor should have a good grasp of money. Consider your candidates’ financial standing and money habits. Another reason to choose an executor with good financial health is that the role may involve becoming bonded. Courts may require bonding as insurance for covering beneficiaries in case an executor runs off with estate money. Someone with liens, creditors or a history of bankruptcy can have a difficult time getting bonded.
Responsible and dependable
Executors take on intense responsibilities, so consider parties capable of stepping up. The person you choose must know how to communicate, be willing to work with financial and legal professionals, and navigate hard choices. If you cannot think of anyone responsible in your life, you may name an accountant, attorney or a bank/trust company as your executor.
Once you choose an executor and the person accepts the role, consider a younger successor. Your original choice could step down from the role or you may outlive your original executor. Either way, by naming a younger successor, you have a better chance of someone you trust taking care of your estate.
Give careful consideration to the person you choose to handle your estate. The right choice gives you and those you love peace of mind.