Appointing an Executor to administer and handle your estate is an important decision. This is the person (or people – or organization) that you are entrusting with the disposition of your property and possessions. Basically, your Executor will grant your final wishes.
Here are three things to consider when appointing an Executor:
It is important to take the qualifications of your Executor into consideration. While they are not required to be an expert in finance or in law, they may be more comfortable in the role if they have had experience submitting taxes, selling a home, locating assets, paying debts, etc. This consideration strongly corresponds to your Executor’s age. Many people want to name their children as Executor – and while it depends on the situation at hand, our office generally recommends a minimal age of twenty-five (25) years;
While the disposition of your estate is largely at the discretion of your Executor, they have a fiduciary duty to act in good faith. This means that your Executor must act in the estate beneficiaries’ best interest. If assets are sold, they are to be sold at fair market value. If expenses are incurred, they must be recorded accurately and in detail. Moreover, beneficiaries must be kept informed at all times, and your Executor must remain neutral. It is important to appoint an Executor who has the required skills;
Acting as an Executor is almost like having a second job. Does the individual appointed have the time to complete the responsibilities that the role entails? It is important to consider your Executor’s personal life. For example, do they have young children, work long hours, or have a generally busy lifestyle? Will they be able to manage their time accordingly?
As an Executor is responsible for the administration of your estate, it is important to think carefully about who you want to appoint. You may choose to name a Trust Company as the Executor of your Will, or you may choose to name a family member or a friend. If you are having trouble deciding, please schedule a meeting with one of our Wills and Estates lawyers – we’d be happy to help.