Choosing whom to name as the executor of your Will is a big decision. You are essentially deciding who will be in charge of your affairs once you are gone. You need to pick someone that you trust not only as a person, but someone you trust to be organized and prepared to take on this responsibility. This article will serve to help you decide how to choose your executor and who would be a good person to choose.
Who can I choose?
Before we get into who you should choose as the executor of your Will, let’s talk about who would qualify as your executor. Many people think that they can only pick a family member to be the executor. This is not the case. While many people do choose a family member to serve as their executor, you can pick a person or an entire trust company. If you have a large and complex estate with a lot of property and assets, you should consider choosing a trust company to be your executor. If you have a smaller estate, you can choose a relative or a friend, so long as he or she is at least nineteen years old.
If you cannot find anyone to act as your executor, you can have the Public Trustee be the executor of your Will. You will want to contact the Public Trustee before you actually naming it in your Will.
Who should I choose?
Ultimately, you want to choose someone that you can trust as your executor. To this end, consider the following when deciding who to name as your executor:
- Ask someone who’s not in your family. A close friend or a business associate that you know on a personal level would be a good choice for an executor. Sometimes it is easier for friends or business partners to be unbiased when carrying out your wishes than it is for family members.
- Ask a family member. When considering who you can trust the most, many people choose their spouses, parents, or children. For this reason, many people choose adult relatives to act as their executors.
- Ask professionals. Like I said, large and complicated estates are oftentimes best handled by trust companies. Likewise, you can choose a lawyer, trust company, or financial expert to take care of your estate if you feel it will be too much for your friends or relatives to handle.
- Age. Being an executor is a great responsibility. While your executor can be 19 years or older, you might want to choose someone who is older than 19 or 20 and mature enough to handle this job.
- Qualifications. You don’t have to hire someone with a lot of law or financial experience, but you should choose someone who is mature and responsible. So long as your executor has access to advisors, he or she does not have to be a professional.
As you can see, choosing your executor is a largely individualized process. The right choice for you might be different for someone with a different family situation and estate. When choosing your executor, consider the size of your estate and the character of the person you choose. So long as they are honest, trustworthy, organized, and responsible, it doesn’t really matter if they are your friend, family member, or a professional. For more information, contact me here.