Developing an estate plan is one of the most important things anyone can do. Who they select to be the executor for their estate is also important which is why estate planners should know what to base the selection of their executor on.
What to base the selection of an executor on
There are several things to look for in an executor including:
- Expertise and common sense – executors and trustees do not need to be financial advisors or experts. They do need to have good judgment to know when to engage the services of a financial advisor or expert. It is important that the executor knows how to research and when to ask for help.
- Longevity of the selection – the estate planner should select an executor that based on their age and health will be expected to survive longer than the estate planner to be able to administer the estate planner’s estate when needed. Estate planners should try to avoid an executor who will be unable to serve because of death, disability or distance. It can also be wise to include a backup executor.
- When a team is best – naming a team such as co-executors can be useful in some circumstances but can also potentially lead to problems associated with family tensions and dynamics. The estate planner should have the goal of avoiding family conflict in their mind.
- When to update – an executor named today by the estate planner may not be the best pick a week, month or year down the road. It is always a good idea to review an estate plan to ensure it is up-to-date which also allows the estate planner the opportunity to determine if their executor selection still holds.
There are many important components to having a comprehensive estate plan in place. To start out on the right foot, estate planners should know how to select the best executor for the job.