When creating an estate plan, there will come a point when you need to think long and hard about whom you name as the executor. While you may have many options, you need to make a final decision at some point.
The first thing you should do is consider the many steps that the executor will need to take upon your passing. Once you do this, you may find that some people are better suited for this task than others.
Taking this one step further, you should do your best to understand the challenges of serving as an executor. By putting yourself in this person’s shoes, it becomes easier to make a decision as to whom you should select.
Here are some of the top challenges of serving as an executor:
- Time commitment
- Gaining access to information and records
- Having enough legal and financial knowledge to make informed decisions
- Managing disagreements among heirs
- Filing tax returns
- Paying debts and bills that were left behind
- Distributing assets according to the estate plan
- Lack of compensation for the time put into the process
As you can see, serving as an executor is not nearly as simple as it sounds. Even in the event of a basic estate, the executor is still staffed with a variety of tasks and responsibilities.
If you are in the process of creating an estate plan and choosing an executor, make a list of people you can trust. From there, begin to narrow your options based on availability, health, personality traits and level of trust.
In the end, the only thing that matters is that you choose the right executor. This will give you peace of mind.