An executor is a fiduciary, who upon your passing, is in charge of handling your estate. This role can involve a great deal of responsibility, including finding and accounting for your assets and liabilities, representing your estate to the Court (with the assistance of legal counsel), filing final tax returns and assist in contacting beneficiaries of your estate and distributing assets to those beneficiaries. Choosing the right person is something that involves a lot of thought and consideration when working to complete your estate plan.
Because of the magnitude of work involved, it is important that you pick an executor that understands finances and is versed on the responsibilities involved in managing an estate. It is also important that you pick someone that will outlive you and will have the energy and capacity to manage your estate at the time of your death. Making sure that the person will have the time necessary to commit to the work ahead in managing an estate is also an important factor to consider when choosing an executor for your estate. Location is also an important factor to consider when choosing an executor. It is important that the executor is close in proximity to the estate because they will need the ability and flexibility to manage the assets of the estate. Having someone that lives across the country from the physical location of the estate assets is not a good fit. Finally, it is important that your executor is familiar with you, your beliefs and values and is familiar with the makeup of your family.
Choosing an executor is an important decision that can impact your estate and your beneficiaries. When beginning the process of completing your estate plan, sit down with your attorney and discuss the various issues surrounding your estate before finalizing your decision.