One of the most important questions you must ask yourself when creating an estate plan is, “Who can I trust to take care of the estate after my death?” Choosing an executor is not as simple as naming the first person who comes to mind. You need to ensure that the person chosen will act with your best interests in mind, and will follow the wishes outlined in your will.
It’s a difficult decision. Here, we offer five tips for choosing an executor.
Choose a person who is financially stable
Since the executor of your estate will be responsible for handling financial matters, it’s a good idea to choose a person who is financially stable. You need to choose a person who is able to get bonded, which is often required by the courts when serving as an executor. Those who have declared bankruptcy, those who do not have a credit history or those who have liens against them will struggle to get bonded.
Choose a person who is responsible
You don’t necessarily have to choose a lawyer, accountant, financial planner, or another professional as your executor. The main focus should be someone who is responsible. The person chosen will need to make difficult decisions, interact with licensed professionals, communicate with beneficiaries, and address issues related to the estate quickly. Should you not have a responsible family member or friend, it’s in your best interest to choose a licensed professional.
Choose at least one person who is younger than you
Naming at least one person who is younger than you as a successor executor is a smart idea. This is a safe move in the event that the person you name as executor passes away before you do, and before you can change your will. The successor executor will automatically take over as the executor of your estate.
Choose someone who is patient and grounded emotionally
Being named the executor of someone’s estate is not an easy job to handle. You need to choose someone who can handle difficult decisions, show tough love with beneficiaries, have the patience for a slow probate process, stay emotionally balanced, and perform the hard work without any hesitation.
Make the best choice possible, independent of location
The choice for the executor of your estate should be the best possible selection without worrying about their location. There are no requirements when choosing an executor that the choice must live in your town, or even in your state. Most of the tasks that an executor carries out can be done from anywhere in the country. A phone call or email can take care of a lot of things, such as removing furniture from your home and turning off utilities.
Wagner & Wagner Attorneys at Law have been representing clients in Chattanooga and throughout Tennessee since 1945. We understand that creating a will, estate plan, and choosing an executor is not easy. To work with an experienced Chattanooga estate planning attorney, call 423-756-7923, or complete a contact form to schedule a consultation. Our firm also serves Cleveland, TN, and surrounding areas.