When you die, someone will need to take charge of handling your estate, passing it through probate if needed, and distributing assets as per your wishes. While death might seem a long way off, it is important to name someone now in case you die unexpectedly. If you change your mind about who to allocate, you can update your estate plan to reflect this at any time.
Finding the right person to execute your estate will not bring you personal benefit, as you will not be around when they are called into action, but it will help your family.
Not everyone will make a good estate executor
Here are a few of the things to consider when you name an executor:
- You trust them: This is essential, as the person you name will have considerable responsibility and a certain amount of authority. It does not mean you need to choose someone you know well. You may choose a professional in the same way you trust a doctor you do not know on a personal level.
- They are likely to be alive and capable: It rarely makes sense to name a parent unless you are still in your youth because children generally outlive their parents. If your sister gets Alzheimer’s 20 years from now, you will need to replace them with someone who has the mental capacity to carry out the task.
- They are willing: Not everyone that says yes means yes. If someone you ask appears to accept grudgingly, consider asking someone else. Executing an estate is time-consuming, and you need someone who willingly gives their time for you and who has the skills to do a good job.
Choosing the right executor is just one of the many things to do when creating your estate plan. Seek help to understand the full range of tasks you need to complete.