You know that you need to create an estate plan, but one of the essential parts of creating such a plan is choosing an executor of your estate. Do you know what an executor is?
This is the person that will carry out your wishes after you pass away. Making a decision who this person is will help you feel confident that your end of life wishes will be taken care of the way you wanted.
Unfortunately, making this decision isn’t as simple as it sounds.
Knowing what an executor will need to do will help you make this important decision. The executor doesn’t have to be a financial professional or attorney. They will have to ensure that your creditors and debts are paid and that your property and money is distributed as you wish.
These duties are called fiduciary duties and they must be done in good faith and honesty. They do not get anything from the estate except for a reasonable administrative fee, or they can be one of the beneficiaries of the will.
Now that you know exactly what an executor does, here are 3 tips for helping you choose the executor of your estate:
#1. Choose a person with a good head on their shoulders.
As mentioned above, the person doesn’t have to be a financial genius, but they do need a basic knowledge of managing finances. They should also tend to be a bit on the conservative side when it comes to managing money. They also need to be willing to research things they don’t understand and ask for help from those that do.
#2. Make sure they will be there to do their job and have a backup.
The executor needs to be capable and present to do their duties. If you choose someone that is older than you or in poor health, they may not be able to do their duties when the time comes. That’s why it is typically more advisable to choose a person that is younger and healthier.
Because life is so unpredictable, it is also a good idea to name a person to be the backup executor, also referred to as a successor, in case the first executor isn’t able to perform their duties.
#3. Understanding the pros and cons of a corporate executor.
You can name a bank or financial institution as your executor, however, the fees you will pay them will likely be much more than if you paid an individual. Their work for your estate will be less personable and there will likely be different people handling your affairs for you.
Knowing the right person to list as the executor of your estate can be complex and overwhelming, but it shouldn’t keep you from creating your estate plan and securing your peace of mind.
Call Alexander Matulewicz at 508-660-0331 and he can guide you in making a decision that is right for you.