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Tips To Choose The Right Executor For Your Will


As a senior citizen, one of the most important parts of an estate plan or a Will is to choose the right executor - the person who will carry out your wishes after your demise. When you have one, you can rest assured that your wishes will be fulfilled and there will be fewer conflicts among your family. But, after knowing how to make a will at home, choosing an executor will not be an easy job, as you will be facing a dilemma deciding whether the person you choose is the right one or not.

Well, to make your job easy, below we have shared some tips that will help you choose the right executor.

But first, let’s understand the duties of an executor.

An executor’s job is to make sure that a person’s last wishes about their possessions and property are carried out just the way they wanted. They have to ensure that the person’s debts and creditors are paid completely and their remaining money and property is distributed as mentioned in the Will.

Generally, it is not necessary that the executor should be a financial professional or lawyer; but, he/she must carry out their duties with diligence and honesty in accordance with law. Although an executor is not entitled to receive a part of money or property, a reasonable fee for carrying out their duties must be paid. In some cases, a beneficiary mentioned in the Will can also be an executor.

Now, to know how to choose the right executor read along the tips given below.

1. Ensure they have basic knowledge

Bear in mind that the person you are choosing as an executor doesn’t have to be someone with a finance background. But they should surely have some basic knowledge of numbers and know how to handle finances. Also, it will be an added advantage if they know where to cut costs in order to save some money. An executor will have to perform some duties they have never even heard of, so ensure they will be able to do the required research and get advice from the experts.

2. Ensure they will carry out their duties and have backups

It is important that the executor is present all the time and administers the estate with utmost attention. Make sure the person you choose as an executor is not in poor health or getting old, as that person may not be healthy enough to carry out their duties in the future. Therefore, it is advised that you always choose a young executor.

But, as you know that life is unpredictable, make sure that you have a backup executor, also known as successor, who can get the job done in case the primary person is not able to perform their duties. You can also choose a professional executor. A good idea will be to choose an executor, a backup executor in order of succession and a corporate executor as your final backup.

3. Weigh the advantages and disadvantages of a corporate executor

It is vital that you know the three trade-offs that come with choosing a financial service or bank as a corporate executor.

First, they must be able to perform their duties as long as they are in service, so make sure that they will be in good business in the future.

Second, their fees will be much higher as compared to what you would ideally pay an individual.

Third, a corporate executor will perform their duties only to serve the business needs and will not take personal interests in your case. With time, another person may replace them and to protect their company from any liabilities they may follow inflexible policies.

4. Think about co-executors working together

Few estates have a lot of assets which may take a long time to administer. If such is your case, you may have to select two or more executors who will act as co-executors. The advantage of having co-executors is, if there are some difficult decisions to be taken or a lot of work formalities is to be completed, a single person will not have to shoulder the entire responsibility.

However, one disadvantage of a co-executor, is that they might face conflicts in taking the right decision. For example, if your children are named as equal co-executors, there might be fights and conflicts amongst them. Even if your children agree about how the assets are to be divided, conflicts could arise when it is time to administer your estate.

So, make sure you are making the right decision and prevent family conflicts amongst children rather than “being fair”. If you feel that there will be a lot of conflicts in your absence, a corporate executor will be your best go-to option.

Your choices for the executor could change over time as a cause of major life events, so make sure you are making the right choices and reviewing them regularly.
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