Estate Planning 101: How to Choose the Right Executor for Your Estate

Thinking about who you will choose to take care of your estate after you are gone is difficult, but appointing an executor is an essential part to every estate plan. The executor is the person who will administer your estate and be in charge of carrying out your final wishes. Making sure you have selected someone you can trust can help put your mind at ease and take some of the stress out of your present life.

That being said, being an executor is time-consuming, and there are a lot of laws and regulations that they must follow. Knowing this, does anyone come to mind? Who should you choose? How do you know who the right executor for your estate is? Below we discuss some general things to think about when it comes to appointing your executor.

  • Close family member

It’s natural that many people would want to appoint executors within the family. Oftentimes, your spouse, adult child, or sibling are the first choice. However, it’s important to remember that the person you choose has to be available and willing to be your estate’s executor. Make sure to sit down with them and have a conversation about their ability and willingness to be responsible for your estate. Revisit this conversation every so often. After all, life changes are sure to happen that could affect their responsibilities and abilities.

  • Trustworthy friends

It’s also common for many people to not have anyone in their families whom they think can handle the stress of acting as an executor. It’s for this reason that people tend to choose close friends who they trust and know will be able to take all the stress. They might even be more effective because they do not have the added layer of familial obligation to other people that a family member does. This can make dealing with their responsibilities easier and them more able to go by what you actually want without succumbing to the pressures of the family.

  • Outside institutions

If there is no one in your immediate circle that you can trust to name as executor, then it’s also acceptable to name a third party executor like a bank, trust company, or other professional (like a lawyer) who is well versed in estate plans. One downside to this option is that there is a fee associated with naming a third party executor. But, peace of mind that your final wishes will be carried out precisely as you would have wanted often outweigh the cost.

Speak with an experienced estate plan attorney.

When you are in the process of creating your estate plan, it’s essential that you speak with an experienced estate planning attorney who can help make sure you have not missed anything. Lawyers can also be great resources in guiding you to the best decision on who should serve as executor of your estate. At Hulbert & Associates, we understand just how complex and sensitive estate plan issues can be and want to help you make the best decisions for you and your family. If you are in the process of creating your estate plan and are having difficulty determining who to name as executor, please don’t hesitate to contact us today!

Written by Lori Hulbert

Together the attorneys of the firm have nearly 30 years of experience in the fields of estate planning, estate and trust administration, estate and trust litigation, guardianships and conservatorships and civil litigation.