How to choose an executor for your estate

Whom should I appoint as executor?

When choosing an executor, if their is a lawyer or business person in the family, the first inclination is to choose that person as the executor.

This is not always a wise choice. Why?

They may be quite busy with work and not able to focus on the duties of an executor.

What are the duties of the executor?

  • Act as the administrator of the estate
  • File the will with the probate court
  • Distribute assets as designated in the will which is usually evenly among family members
  • Referee disputes amongst familiar members
  • Make court appearances for the estate if necessary
  • Sort out the finances of the person who died
  • Maintain all property until it is distributed or sold
  • File estate taxes and file paper work including:
    1. Changing the name on property to the name of the estate
    2. Changing all utility, banks credit card companies and government agencies of the decedents death
    3. File a tax return for the deceased

This does not sound like much but it is extremely time consuming.

So when deciding on a executor what should you look for someone who:

  • gets things done
  • follows-up on lists and accomplishes them
  • is detailed oriented
  • is not overwhelmed by work
  • is fair and impartial

It may just be the case that the person is not in the family but rather is a friend.

So make sure when you choose an executor that you are not making the decision based upon emotions and family concerns and instead choose someone who can accomplish the task without issue.



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