Who have you chosen to serve as executor of your estate? And are you confident that the person you’ve selected is the right fit? Making sure the right person is in charge of your estate can go a long way toward avoiding a probate mess.
A recent Reuters Wealth blog puts the spotlight on a daughter who had an unpleasant experience with her father’s executor, and gives some good advice on how to choose the right executor for your estate:
- Know Your Estate. If settling your estate will be a rather simple and straightforward matter, financially speaking, it probably works to name your spouse or one of your children as executor – they’ll have a vested interest in the well-being of your family, and if you discuss your intentions for your estate, you can put them in a good position to do the job well.
On the other hand, if your estate is too complicated, or if your family dynamics are less-than-ideal, it makes sense to name a professional to serve as executor. Just make sure it’s someone you know and trust.
- Know the Person – Well. Whether you choose a relative, a friend, or a professional, it’s critically important that you know your executor – this includes their character and their capabilities. You want to choose someone who is loyal and trustworthy, but you also want to make sure they are detail-oriented and that they have sufficient business and financial knowledge. And, if they can’t manage your estate finances on their own, they’ll need to be capable of hiring and overseeing professionals to handle this aspect of the estate.
- Communicate, Communicate, Communicate. This can be the truly hard part, but your family needs to know what to expect when the time comes to settle your estate. This means letting them know whom you’ve chosen to serve as executor, and talking with them about your expectations for the settlement of your estate.