How to choose the right Executor

How to choose the right Executor

What question comes to mind when thinking about who to choose as an executor?  If it’s ‘who would be honored with this coveted role?’, think again. 

Naming somebody as an Executor is asking them to gather and protect a person’s worldly goods, distribute them to the people they love most, and guide those same people after they’re gone, and can no longer do it themselves. Can there be a greater placement of trust or position of responsibility?

To ensure the correct Executor is selected, here are some critical questions to ask:

Who has the availability to take on a part-time job that could span months or even years?

Who has the organizational skills of being a personal fiduciary?

Who has the knowledge about family dynamics, assets, business interests, moral values, and intentions to properly interpret the directions in the will?  After all, the will is the only voice somebody has after they’re gone. 

Most people don’t even inform an Executor that they’ve been named as such in their will. That’s like asking someone to accept a challenging job but not giving them the opportunity to ask any questions.

This is why many refer to an Executor’s role as “the hardest job you Never applied for”!

Before naming an executor, people can pretend they’ve been named one themselves, and walk through some of the basic steps they might encounter. Some questions an executor might ask include 

  • What kind of funeral would have been wanted? 
  • Should the funeral be religious, secular, or some blend of the two? 
  • Would the deceased have wanted a burial or cremation? 
  • Has it been funded, will assets need to be sold, or was the expectation the executor would pay for it? 
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