The duties of an executor seem nearly endless. Just ask any person who served in this role for settling an estate. There is contacting beneficiaries as well as insurance companies and financial institutions to inform them of the death. Paying outstanding taxes and debts are some of the other duties and so is distributing the assets and settling disputes.
You do not want just any person in this role. You want someone who is trustworthy, oozes integrity and responsibility and is unbending when it comes to advocating for the estate.
Honest, organized and available
Here are some of the critical qualities you want in the executor of your will:
- Honest and responsible: You want someone whom you trust will successfully perform the duties of this job and maintain the best interests of the estate.
- Calm and level-headed: Knowing that these tasks must be completed, the executor tackles them with confidence and calmness. It is also a good quality to have when settling disputes among heirs.
- Organized: With the various duties such as finding beneficiaries and securing the death certificate, the executor must have solid organizational skills. This person sets priorities, juggling several tasks at the same time.
- Well-versed in the financial world: Having someone who is financially savvy works to the benefit of the estate. A solid executor has knowledge in investments, taxes and land values to name a few. He or she is not afraid of details in a prospectus.
- Availability: The executor role is a time-consuming one. You want to make sure you have someone who can confidently add these duties to his or her schedule. Depending on the complexity of the estate, it may take more than a year to settle.
Having the right person in this role will make for a smoother probate process, often working alongside an attorney.
Your estate will ‘thank’ you
In selecting an executor, put great thought into this task. When you have the right person in mind, discuss the matter with him or her to make sure whether they are comfortable and willing to fulfill the duties in this responsible role. Your estate will ultimately “thank” you for your choice.