Putting together a complete and thorough estate plan is hard work. There are many elements that you have to keep track of, and you have to think of and plan for all possible contingencies. Possibly the most important decision you will make during the estate planning process is choosing who your executor will be. The right choice can result in an orderly and efficient distribution of your estate, while the wrong choice could lead to sibling rivalries and lawsuits against your estate.
The duties of an executor
The executor of your estate has many important responsibilities. They are the ones that will be in charge of gathering all of your assets (tangible and intangible) and paying all of your debts and taxes. They will also be overseeing the distribution of your assets according to the terms of your will.
If lien creditors, disgruntled beneficiaries or anyone else decides to bring a challenge against your will or sue your estate, your beneficiary will have to stand in your place to defend against the lawsuit.
Traits of a good executor
Whoever your executor is, they will have to be someone who can do what has to be done under pressure. They will be grieving your loss, but they will have to step up and make tough decisions despite their grieving.
Many times, challenges to a will arise when one sibling or other beneficiary feels that they are not being treated fairly. Thus, it’s a good idea to choose an executor that has a good relationship with your other beneficiaries, who can make them feel heard and address their concerns in a tactful manner.
It’s also a good idea to name several back-up executors. That way, if your first choice is unable or unwilling to fulfill the duties required, someone else you trust can take over. If not, the court will have to appoint someone else, and they may pick someone that you would not have wanted as your executor.
Executors have the very important duty of administering the estate of their deceased loved one. Choosing the right person for the job can increase the chances that your loved ones will be able to mourn your loss without having to worry about strife and contention.