One of the most challenging aspects of estate planning is selecting an ideal candidate to fulfill the executor’s role. That individual has some pretty essential responsibilities to handle, after all, including setting with your creditors, filing your final tax return and distributing any remaining assets left in your estate to your heirs. You’ll want the person that you select for your executor role to have specific attributes.
Personality or behavior traits to look for in an executor
Anyone you’re considering to be your executor will need to be responsible, reliable, trustworthy and financially prudent. The judge presiding over the probate case will expect an executor to learn their responsibilities and execute them at specific intervals. The court may require the bonding of anyone you appoint to your personal representative role. Insurers are unlikely to bond any prospective executor that they believe is a financial liability.
Younger executors may be better choices than older ones as there’s less of a chance of them dying before you. Appointing a backup executor to step in and fill your primary personal representative’s role may be an ideal choice if you want to minimize the chances of you needing to reappoint one down the road.
Signals that someone would make a poor executor
Naturally, you cannot appoint a minor as your executor (no matter how suitable they may be otherwise). You should also think twice about appointing anyone with serious mental health issues or a criminal record to your executor role. They may have trouble getting bonded or not have the organizational skills to reliably handle the job.
Someone who lives far away from you may also be a poor executor. Your executor may need to visit your property, the attorney’s office, and the local court several times throughout the probate process — and that’s both difficult and expensive to do if they aren’t in the area.
What to do once you identify an executor
Estate planning is something that every Miramar Beach adult should do. It allows you to have the ultimate control over how your final wishes are carried out instead of leaving things in control of the state. An attorney can help you draft a will and other essential documents so that you have a say over what becomes of your possessions once you’re gone.