When you make an estate plan, one important step is to select an estate executor. This person may also be referred to as the estate administrator. Either way, their job is to carry out the estate plan, follow the instructions in the will, pay remaining debts, distribute assets to beneficiaries and more.
It’s very important to have the right person in this role so that everything goes smoothly. But what should you look for? Here are a few qualities to keep in mind.
First of all, the estate executor has to do many financial tasks, such as accessing accounts, making payments or distributions, and paying taxes. They need to have a general understanding of this process so that they can do it without making critical errors that could cost the estate from a monetary perspective.
In the modern world, people are never more than a plane flight away. But it still helps to choose an estate executor who is relatively close by and who will be able to respond quickly when needed. They have an important job and many other parts of the process can’t start until the executor has taken specific steps – making an inventory before distributing assets, for instance – so they need to be able to do so promptly.
Willingness and understanding
Finally, you need someone who really understands what you want, what your goals are and what you are attempting to accomplish. The two of you need to talk about the estate plan in advance to ensure that you’re both on the same page. You also need to make sure that the estate executor is willing to take this role, as it can be hard for some people during such an emotional time.
After selecting the estate executor, be sure you know about all of the legal steps to include them in your estate plan and file the paperwork.