How to choose an executor of your will

| Oct 22, 2019 | Firm News

When estate planning, you have to answer many questions about what will happen upon your death. It’s never easy, but when you address concerns now it will make things easier on your loved ones in the future.

When deciding whom to choose as the executor of your will, it’s critical to take your time and only make a decision when you’re 100 percent confident.

This person is staffed with various responsibilities upon your death, including but not limited to:

  • Recovering and reviewing your will
  • Submitting the will to the probate court
  • Distributing assets as outlined in the will
  • Maintaining property until probate is complete
  • Paying bills and taxes on behalf of the estate
  • Making court appearances as required

Who’s the best choice?

There’s no right or wrong answer to this question, as it depends largely on your relationship with the people in your life. Some of the most common choices for executor include:

  • Spouse
  • Adult children
  • Siblings
  • Other relatives
  • Close friends

As you compare potential options, pay attention to the following traits:

  • Organization
  • Honesty
  • Communication skills
  • Trustworthiness

For example, the probate process is often full of challenges, such as a will contest or someone who is upset that they aren’t more involved. This is why organization and a high level of communication skills is a necessity.

Are there any restrictions?

You can name almost anyone as your executor, but there are some exceptions:

  • Anyone under the age of 18
  • Anyone with a felony on their criminal record

If you’re unsure if someone can serve as your executor, learn more about state laws by consulting with an estate planning attorney. It’s a mistake to simply name an executor and hope for the best, as this can cause trouble upon your death.

There is more to creating a will than deciding who gets what upon your death. You also need to focus on details such as who will act as your executor. Once you have an idea of whom you want to choose, ask this person if they’re up to taking on the task.

Understanding your legal rights and the estate planning laws in Florida makes it easier not only to create a will, but also to name the right executor.