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How to Select Someone to Be The Executor for Your Will

Senior woman writing a will

By Anica Oaks

When you are preparing your will, one of the most important decisions you will need to make will be who to name as your executor. Since this person will be responsible for ensuring your final wishes are carried out, this is a decision that you should never take lightly. If you do, the result will likely be an estate that is thrown into turmoil. To make sure you select the right person as the executor for your will, take the following factors into consideration.

Pick Someone You Trust

Above all else, pick someone you trust to be your executor. Since your executor will be responsible for performing such duties as selling your home, paying creditors, distributing assets, and many other legal duties, make sure the person you select for this job is up to the challenge.

Consider an Attorney or Bank

If you do not have any family members or friends you feel are responsible enough to be named as your will’s executor, remember that you can name an attorney, bank, accountant, or other entity as executor. For example, if you are working with a will attorney on estate planning and drafting your will, talk this matter over with them in great detail. In the end, you may feel more comfortable putting your estate in the hands of an attorney you know and trust.

Don’t Worry about Location

If you have someone you want to name as executor of your will but are hesitant to do so because they live far away from you, don’t let that become a factor in your final decision. When naming an executor, where the person lives makes little difference. In most cases, an executor will be completely able to handle their duties without having to travel to your town or city. Whether through phone calls, emails, Zoom meetings, or text messages, the details of your estate can be handled from afar.

Name a Younger Successor

Since you may only draft one will during your lifetime, there is always a chance the person you may initially name as executor may not outlive you, or could possibly decline to serve as executor. Therefore, it is advisable that you also name a person to this position who is much younger than yourself and in good health, since they may need to step in should circumstances dictate a replacement is needed. 

Should you have additional questions about naming an executor for your will, don’t hesitate to sit down with your attorney for a candid discussion.

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