Writing a comprehensive will is one of the better ways to retain some control over your estate after your death. When you die and your will goes to probate, your executor essentially takes your place. That is, the person you choose to be your executor performs estate-related tasks on your behalf.
Because your executor plays a vital role, you do not want to select the wrong person or persons for the job. You also do not want to take the selection process lightly. Here are three tips for choosing a competent individual to serve as your executor.
1. Have meaningful conversations
You should be able to trust your executor to carry out your wishes in a competent and expedient manner. Even if you think you have the right person in mind, you should have a few meaningful conversations. When talking with prospective executors, ask if each is willing to do the job and has enough time to do so. Also, gauge whether each potential executor has the skills necessary to deal with conflict.
2. Look for financial stability
Your executor may have to qualify for a bond, which is a special type of insurance. The purpose of a bond is to ensure the beneficiaries of your estate plan receive their share if the executor takes the money and runs. Put simply, individuals who are financially unstable may not be eligible for a bond.
3. Think about age
If you are young when you draft your will and never rework it, decades may pass before it goes to probate. While it makes sense to review and update your will periodically, you do not want your executor to die before you do. Therefore, you may want to name at least one executor who is younger than you.
With few exceptions, you can name virtually anyone to serve as your executor. Any effort you put into choosing the right individuals or individuals for the job, though, is likely to pay dividends.