When planning your will, much of your time will be spent considering what to give to whom. You might also spend a great deal of effort researching the best way to give your possessions to your heirs so that your estate is taxed as little as possible. With such weighty matters, selecting someone to be the executor of your estate might seem insignificant. Choosing an executor is extremely important because they'll be tasked with making sure everything stated in your will is honored in a timely fashion. Here are three tips for choosing a good executor.
Choose Someone Who is Trustworthy
First and foremost, your executor should be a trustworthy person. They'll be entrusted with the divvying up of your entire estate, after all. Looking for someone who is trustworthy doesn't mean you have to choose your closest confidant, but that you should look for someone who is above reproach.
Choose Someone Who Isn't a Major Heir
Second, while you might want to leave a nominal gift for your executor as a thank-you, the person you choose to be executor shouldn't receive a lot from your will. In fact, they ought to receive little besides the thank-you gift that you clearly stipulate in your will, assuming you choose to leave them one.
If you choose someone who is a significant heir, other potential heirs may question your chosen person's motives. Even if there isn't any wrongdoing, some people may inquire about their actions. Inquiries are never pleasant, and they can be expensive if they lead to a legal battle.
By selecting someone who has nothing to gain from your will, you'll avoid any potential scenario where people are questioning the executor's intentions and actions.
Choose Someone Who Has Time
Finally, the person you choose should have time to be the executor of your will. Seeing that a will is properly administered doesn't take a lot of time, but it does require some time. If a person doesn't have time to actually execute your will, it will be neglected. It will become a burden to the executor, and your heirs won't receive their inheritance in a timely fashion.
Once you think of a person that meets all three of these criteria, ask them if they're willing to be the executor of your will. Hopefully, they will say yes. If they aren't able to for some reason, however, don't press them. Think of another candidate and ask them, instead. For more information, contact a lawyer like Cormac McEnery.