Important considerations when choosing an executor

The executor role is one that requires a high degree of responsibility and thoroughness, so the decision about who to make yours should involve careful consideration. While you want to appoint someone you trust to be your executor, you also want to avoid alienating or offending others who you do not choose for the role. So, you may want to have a strong reason for naming one child, friend or family member executor over the others.

According to Kiplinger, the person you give the executor title may have many responsibilities ranging from paying off creditors to distributing your assets among your intended beneficiaries. So, when deciding who you want to take on the role, consider the following.

Naming someone responsible and financially savvy

Your executor may need to show up at certain times, and they may also have to communicate with your beneficiaries. Thus, it makes sense to appoints someone you know is going to show up when expected and otherwise get the job done.

Depending on where your chosen executor resides geographically, he or she may need “bonding,” which is a type of insurance. If your executor has a history of bankruptcy, or if he or she lacks credit history, it may be difficult or impossible for him or her to secure this insurance.

Naming an alternative executor

It may also serve you well to have a back-up plan when it comes to your executor. If you name your spouse executor and you two are close in age, you may want to add a clause stating that if your spouse passes away before you, the responsibility transfers to someone else. It may benefit you to name someone younger than you as your executor, or your alternative executor, to enhance the chance that this person outlives you.

Find more about choosing an executor and transferring assets to your loved ones on our webpage.