How to Choose the Right Executor
No one wants to spend their time thinking about life when they’re not around anymore. This is unpleasant, but it’s something we all need to come to terms with. You might have a good idea of who you want your assets to go to after you pass, but you also have to choose who you trust to be the executor or your estate. This is a huge responsibility to give someone, so you need to consider who you want in this role carefully. You don’t want to make this decision based on who your best friend or favorite relative is if there could be issues with them following your wishes and handling important matters.
At Mazzoni Valvano Szewczyk & Karam, our Scranton estate planning lawyers know that planning your estate is not always easy. With our experience and knowledge, we can help guide you while you plan for the future. Here is what you need to consider when choosing an executor to handle your estate.
Consider Who is the Most Responsible
Some of the people we’re closest to might not always be the most responsible. Being an executor is a big job, and you should feel confident that yours is up to it. An executor needs to manage and distribute your assets, pay off your debts, ensure your estate taxes are paid, and work with your beneficiaries. If you have doubts over someone’s capabilities, they may not be the right choice.
You also might know that some individuals are trustworthy, but don’t have the time to take this on. Being an executor can be very time-consuming, which can narrow down your selection. If you’re wary about choosing an executor from your personal life, know that there are alternatives. If you don’t want to choose a family member or friend, you can also use an attorney or your bank.
Find Someone in Good Health
While you’re thinking of your own future, you also need to think about your executor’s future. Someone who seems like the perfect choice right now might not be in the future. This is why you should typically try to avoid picking someone older than you who could potentially not outlive you.
Health conditions may also progress by the time they need to take on their role, which you should also consider. You don’t want to risk your executor being unavailable when you need them due to their age or health. If this is something you’re concerned about, select a backup executor in case your first choice is unable to act.
Choose Someone Financially Stable
When choosing an executor, consider how they handle their own financial matters. This person will be responsible for your assets, debts, taxes, and bills, so they should be able to handle working with money. You might know that someone you love who has your best interests at heart just isn’t good with finances. If someone can’t manage their own finances, you don’t want to handle yours.
Avoid Choices Who May Be Too Emotional
Not only is being an executor a significant amount of work, but it can also be emotionally taxing. Understandably, not everyone can handle carrying out a loved one’s last wishes. You might want to choose those closest to you, such as one of your children, to be your executor, but this doesn’t always work out. An executor needs to be able to work through the emotional toll that being an executor can have, which is something you need to consider.
Revise Your Choice When Needed
Things can change over time, so who is right for your executor today may not always be tomorrow. This is why it’s incredibly important to revise your estate plans after major life changes. If your spouse is your executor, but you’ve recently divorced, you might not want them in this role anymore. In most cases, estate plans are not set in stone, so you need to update them occasionally to represent your current wishes.
Contact an Estate Planning Law Firm That Can Help You Plan for the Future
Regardless of the size of your estate, there’s a lot to consider when planning for the future. You want to ensure everything is taken care of in advance for your loved ones, which is why you need the help of an experienced estate planning attorney. At Mazzoni Valvano Szewczyk & Karam, we know the complications that can occur while estate planning and can help you through this process, whatever your needs are.
Contact our Scranton estate planning law firm today to learn more.