How Do I Choose an Executor?

The person you choose to be your executor should be someone you trust. These questions will give you some ideas on what to consider when choosing who to name in your will as the person in charge of distributing your property after you die.

Personality

  • Does this person know how to handle money and property? Have they borrowed money from you before?
  • Do they do it well for themselves? Do you know if they are in financial difficulty?
  • Do you think this person will manage your money and property in the way you want and in your best interest?

Trustworthiness

    • Has this person always been open and honest with you? Have you known the person long enough and well enough that you trust them?
    • Is this person able to act in your best interest?
    • Do they have any personal issues (money problems or poor health) that may keep them from properly managing your finances?

Experience and Availability

    • Does this person understand financial matters?
    • Do they understand the duties and responsibilities involved?
    • Does this person live nearby and is easy to contact? Will they be available if needed?
    • Does the person have the time to handle your money and property as well as their own?
    • Has this person been someone you could rely on?
    • Has this person carried through on important duties or decisions in the past?

Strength and Confidence

  • Will this person be strong enough to resist pressure from family members and handle conflicts?
  • Will this person be able to negotiate any outstanding bills or debts? Is there any language or educational barrier?
  • Will this person be emotionally capable of handling both grieving for you and handling your estate? Some spouses cannot

Finally, make sure that you list a second alternate in case the person you choose cannot perform the duties of an executor for you. Even a third alternate name would be better than having the court appoint a stranger to handle your assets when you die. If you have been forced to sign legal documents naming someone

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