Starting Your Estate Plan? Choosing The Executor Of Your Estate

A key part of financial responsibility includes estate planning to protect your finances and your loved ones in the event of your death. Once you establish your estate, it's time to make sure that you know exactly who will be managing it when you pass. That means identifying an executor for that estate. Here are a few tips to help you select the right person for the job.

Do You Want A Professional Or A Friend?

The first choice you need to make is whether you want a professional or a friend to handle your estate. As far as professionals go, some people choose the lawyer that drafts their will to be the executor of their estate. You could do this if you want someone who is a completely neutral third party to handle things. Keep in mind that any professional you choose would expect a fee for the service.

If, however, you want a more personal touch to the way things are distributed and managed, you may decide you want to have a loved one or a friend handle it. By doing this, you have the reassurance that everything is handled by someone who truly understands how much it means to you. You can opt to pay them if you wish, but you have to state that in the estate plan and your will.

Does The Person Have The Time To Invest?

When you start considering potential candidates to handle your estate, you need to consider the time investment that's involved in the process. You might think that it's fairly easy to handle an estate distribution, but the truth is that it can take a lot of time. Sometimes, it takes more than a year for an estate to be settled. This kind of time investment, including attorney meetings and the potential for probate, can be burdensome for those who have a lot of responsibilities already. Make sure that whoever you choose has the time required to handle your estate distribution.

Is The Person Fully Qualified?

There are some restrictions to who can be the executor of your estate. In some states, people with a felony conviction cannot serve as an executor. In many states, minors are ineligible as well. Your estate planning attorney can tell you what the specifics are for your state's executor allowances, so talk with him or her before you make your choice.