When the time comes for you to create or update your estate plan, you will be faced with the decision about who you would like to act as the executor of your estate. Many people automatically assume they should name a child to this role, but this may not always be the right decision. In families with multiple children, appointing only one as an executor may contribute to resentment and increase the risk of a conflict during probate. In addition, some adult children are simply not equipped to act as a responsible executor.
Kiplinger explains that one of the hallmarks of a great executor is the ability to navigate often complex and even adversarial situations. When a will is contested, it is the executor who must mediate and get everyone to a resolution. This person must be able to remain calm in the face of challenges and put executing your wishes and following the law above the emotions of any heirs.
You should honestly evaluate the financial savvy of any potential executor given that this role does require the person to manage some major financial matters on behalf of you, your estate and possibly your extended family. From filing taxes to paying outstanding debt and more, an executor must know how to make good financial decisions and prudently manage money.
This information is not intended to provide legal advice but is instead meant to provide people with some guidance on how they may select the right executor for their will so that they can feel confident their wishes will be properly executed after they die.