How to Choose the Right Executor for Your Estate

When making an estate plan, one of the most crucial steps is to name an executor for your estate. This person will make sure your estate is taken care of and distributed correctly after your passing. This can include paying bills and filing taxes, notifying agencies of your death, and more.

Because of the key responsibilities this person has, it’s essential to appoint the right person. Consider these tips when selecting your executor.

Choose a Responsible Person as Executor

An executor has to complete a lot of tasks – on time – after your death. Some of their responsibilities can include getting information from banks, giving instructions to financial institutions, selling your property, working with estate planning attorneys, and much more. They will also need to complete and file a lot of paperwork that must be completed correctly and on time. To ensure these tasks are done correctly, you must appoint a responsible person as your executor. Because of the nature of these tasks, you might want to consider someone who has a financial or legal background.

Make Sure the Person is Honest

An executor is responsible for distributing the assets of your estate, and they will have access to your financial accounts to complete key tasks, close accounts, and distribute the funds. It’s essential to appoint an executor who is honest and trustworthy. You are counting on this person to follow your wishes and protect your assets. If they are dishonest, they could take money from your estate – cheating your beneficiaries out of their inheritance.

If there is a problem with an executor and if your friends and family suspect they are stealing from the estate, he or she may be removed by the court. The estate could then file a lawsuit against the executor to recover any lost assets.

Consider Your Friends and Family

When thinking about honest and trustworthy people in your life, you will likely think of your friends and family. You can name a close friend or family member as your executor. This could be a child or sibling, or another close relative that you trust to handle your estate.

Make Sure They Understand the Role

When considering someone as your executor, make sure they understand the role. You want to ensure they are up to the task, so you should review all of the duties and responsibilities with them. If they are comfortable, then you can move forward. But if they are not up for the job, then you should consider appointing someone else.

Hire a Professional Executor

If you cannot think of a friend or family member who would make a good executor, then you should consider hiring a professional executor. This can be a bank, trust company, or estate planning attorney. Choosing a professional will assure you that the job will be carried out correctly.

Update Your Selection

As you have life changes and people come in and out of your life, you should regularly evaluate whom you choose as executor so you can change it if needed. For example, if you get married, you might want to update it to your spouse. However, if you get divorced, then you should make a new selection. You can work with your estate planning attorney to update your estate plan and your executor as needed.

Why Hire Us To Help Select an Executor

When you need to create an estate plan or name an executor to your estate, trust our estate planning attorneys at Johnstone Adams LLC.

Ranked in the 2023 U.S. News – Best Lawyers® “Best Law Firms” list regionally in 12 practice areas, we have experts in many areas of law to give our clients top-notch representation. In business for more than a century, our firm can mix its experience with the ability to evolve with the changing times.

To get started, contact us at 844-682-7682 or

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