One of the most critical aspects of putting together your estate plan is to designate an executor of your estate. This individual’s role is to take on the responsibilities you would typically have but can no longer have if you are sick or pass away.
Choosing an executor of your estate
Choosing the individual who will take charge of the duties involved in managing your estate may seem daunting, but it does not have to be. This individual must be a trusted person that you know well and who will, most importantly, honor your wishes and that can:
- Determine the value of and manage your real and personal property
- Continue your business operations or pass them on to a beneficiary of your choice
- Distribute assets and property to your selected beneficiaries
- Notify beneficiaries, creditors and government entities, pay taxes and invest funds.
Who is best suited to fill this role?
It depends. This is a decision you should make after thoughtfully assessing the relationships in your life and your estate. It should be someone most likely to honor your wishes and preferences despite potential push-back from people who may disagree with them. Your estate’s executor could be:
- A close friend that you know well
- A family member you trust (such as a spouse, parent, sibling, or child)
- A trusted business partner with relevant expertise
Making estate planning decisions can be a serious and sometimes unpleasant matter. However, it is essential to address these matters while you are still in total capacity to make the best decisions for yourself, your family and your estate.