Help with Family, Finances

and the Future

How do you pick an executor? 3 questions to ask

On Behalf of | Dec 13, 2023 | Estate Planning |

You love your family, so you want to make sure that your estate plan is in place. You also want to make sure that you entrust the job of executor to the right person – and that can prove challenging.

Because the executor of someone’s estate has a lot of responsibility and a big job ahead of them, there are several questions you need to ask yourself about your potential candidates. These include:

1. Are they younger than you and healthy?

You may trust your older sister with your life, and you definitely trust her to make sure that your final wishes are followed. You also know that she has all the decision-making skills required of a good executor. However, she’s a decade older than you and has already had a health scare or two. 

It’s always best to name someone younger and healthier than you as your executor. If you do decide to name someone your own age or older, you may want to designate a successor – just in case your first choice doesn’t outlive you or is in poor health when the time comes.

2. Do they have pretty good sense, and are they responsible?

Your executor doesn’t have to be a financial whiz, so long as they have the sense to hire the right people to help them. Similarly, they don’t have to understand all the steps in the probate process, so long as they are responsible enough to seek legal guidance when they need it.

You don’t want to pick someone who has a hard time keeping track of their responsibilities, or someone who gets easily flustered when they have to make decisions. Choose someone for this role who is pretty self-directed and grounded.

3. Are they able to handle the job emotionally?

Someone’s death can provoke all kinds of family drama. You want to make sure that your chosen executor is capable of being responsive to your beneficiaries and heirs (without being a pushover).

Pick someone who is a good communicator, with real “people sense,” rather than someone who tends to respond to expressions of frustration with hostility or ire. 

With these three questions in mind, you should have no problem getting the remainder of your estate plan in order. Legal assistance is available.